NASA's Mission to Mars Astronaut Class - Background, Education and Related Jobs

The "Eight Balls" - Astronaut Class of 2013

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Josh Cassida, Victor Glover, Tyler Hague, Christina Hammock, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan.Homemade telescope. Little girls can grow up to be astronauts.
Josh Cassida, Victor Glover, Tyler Hague, Christina Hammock, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan.
Josh Cassida, Victor Glover, Tyler Hague, Christina Hammock, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, and Andrew Morgan. | Source
Homemade telescope. Little girls can grow up to be astronauts.
Homemade telescope. Little girls can grow up to be astronauts. | Source

New Astronaut Class One of Many In the Future

The eight astronaut candidates selected and pictured above were the best qualified for the position of NASA Astronaut out of over 6,000 applicants.

While the US Federal Government talks about limiting NASA's funding and ability to approach near-Earth asteroids beginning in the summer of 2013, the task of asteroid contact by the above crew could be picked up by NASA's Commercial Crew network of over 63 private companies in the Aerospace Industry, including Google.

Google-backed Planetary Resources, Inc. was already crowdsourcing funds for outer space projects like a network of timeshare telescopes the company could fund asteroid contact and mining similarly. The funding needed for the telescopes was met at the 50% mark during the first 24 hours of crowdsourcing donations. Enough Americans at all income levels are ready to back privatized and NASA projects to near-Earth asteroids and Mars, followed by the asteroid belt beyond Mars and on to the moons of Jupiter. The NASA Astronaut Class of 2013 will be participating in the first two missions.

New astronaut classes will be selected in the future.

Meet the 2013 Astronaut Class

What Is Different About These Eight Astronauts

One difference in this class of eight star travelers fron other applicants and classes is that the USA has never before sent four women into space at once. In fact, it was long after the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, flew such a mission that America sent even one woman into the stratosphere.

The eight members of the Class of 2013 have complimentary backgrounds and, fortunately, include a physician and an anesthesiologist.

Some Descriptive Statistics About the New Class

Ages

  • Age Range: 34 - 39.
  • Average Age: 36
  • Average Age Men: 37.5
  • Average Age Women: 34.5

Home States: Western states provide the largest number in this class

  • California - 2
  • Washington - 1
  • Maine - 1
  • Pennsylvania - 1
  • North Carolina - 1
  • Minnesota - 1
  • Kansas - 1

Advanced Education:

> Summary1: Two civilians (female), one retired Navy (male), one active Air Force (male Lt. Colonel, one active Army (male, Major), one active Marines (female, Major), one active Navy (male, Lt. Commander), one Army and Navy (female, Major in US Army).

>Summary2: Four Test Pilots (2 male, 2 female); one in private business, two in Medicine (one professor, one physician), one in government (NOAA). One Test Pilot is also serving a fellowship connected with the Navy and Congress.

  • Cassada. Advanced degree in Physics/other from University of Rochester NY ; retired US naval aviator. Currently a Chief Technology Officer.
  • Glover. USAF Test Pilot School, Air Postgraduate School, undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University; three advanced degrees; post-grad work as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the US Congress.
  • Hague. Air Force Academy, USAF Test Pilot School, undergrad degree from MIT and advanced degree in Aeronautical Engineering, Has combat experience and works with the DOD.
  • Hammock. Civilian. Advanced degrees from North Carolina State University in Electrical engineering and Physics. Station Chief for a NOAA facility. Has experience working in Greenland and the Antarctic.
  • Mann. US Naval Academy, Stanford, US Naval Test Pilot School; degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Scuba Diver. Combat pilot experience.
  • McClain. US Military Academy at West Point, Universities of Bath and Bristol in the UK, US Naval Test Pilot School; degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Public Health. Has flown in combat missions.
  • Meir. Civilian. Advanced degree from the International Space University in space studies, PhD in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Medical training; worked in the Antacrctic as an under-ice diver. Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard.
  • Morgan. US Military Academy at West Point, Medical Degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and a degree in Environmental Engineering. Sports Medicine Fellowship. Currently a Physician with expertise in ER medicine. Past member of the Army's Golden Knights Parachute Team.

Google+ Hangout with the New Class

Hubble Telescope. Planetary Resources, Inc. Has made a new group of  telescopes in space a time sharing opportunithy for the public and schools.
Hubble Telescope. Planetary Resources, Inc. Has made a new group of telescopes in space a time sharing opportunithy for the public and schools. | Source
Soon, this young lady can access space telescope data and images on her family's home computer.
Soon, this young lady can access space telescope data and images on her family's home computer. | Source

Finding Asteroids That Might Impact Earth

Since Commercial Crew participant Planetary Resources has crowdsourced funding related to outer space projects, NASA has asked the public for help as well.

In a formal Request For Information (RFI), NASA asked for innovative methods and new system concepts for use in the initiative to protect Earth from asteroids in the future. Another part of the initiative is the Asteroid Redirect Mission, hoping to find ways of changing the course of asteroids about to hit our planet.

Interested individuals and groups were given from June 18 through July 18, 2013 to submit business proposals concerning the asteroid initiative. NASA planned a convenient Google+ Hangout for 2:00 PM EST. Information page is located HERE.

It seems likely that the 2013 class of astronauts will participate in any accepted business proposal plans in the asteroid initiative, since an asteroid trip is their first assignment in the future. This is another way in which NASA is combining government funded and privately funded initiatives for he US Space Program. Meanwhile, the time sharing telescopes going into space through the work of Planetary Resources beginning in 2013 can allow us all to look for asteroids that might touch Earth. See the links below.

Buzz Aldrin Promotes Misson to Mars

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory cruise capsule and Orion spacecraft to be used by our new astronauts.Manufactured by LOCKHEED MARTIN.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory cruise capsule and Orion spacecraft to be used by our new astronauts.Manufactured by LOCKHEED MARTIN. | Source

Years 2020 - 2030

The 2013 astronaut newbies will reach an asteroid in 2020 or before. At the same time, Google LunarX Prize lunar landers will have already been on the moon for some time, the first launched in 2013 and two years ahead of schedule.

The moon may still be an appropriate place to set up an intermediate base for near-Earth asteroid mining parties and equipment or asteroid redirection. The appropriate equipment (anti-asteroid weapons) placed on the moon might move a large asteroid out of the path of Earth or destroy a smaller rock that might then be recycled as resource materials through collection and mining.

At this writing, we are in 2013 with incredible opportunities ahead of us. In 20 years, humankind should be mining asteroids regularly, and building habitats on Mars. Well before 2033 or so, the 2013 class of NASA astronauts will have walked on Mars' surface.

NASA has set up a Martian Citixens' Site in order to engage the public in virtual exploration, especially since billion=pixel iages of the marscape are now avaiable.

Visit Be a Martian at http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/welcome

Lockheed Martin Jobs

Lockheed Martin is the manufacturer of the Orion spacecraft and a mamber of the large NASA Commerical Crew companies. In June 2013, Lockheed Martin listed approxiately 10,000 job openings around the USA, with additional positions in Australia, Canada, and the UK.

The highest demand job titles among the 10K jobs are Software Engineers, Systems Engineers, Systems Administrators, Subcontract Administrators, Network Engineers, Aircraft Painters, Technicians, Machinists, Intelligence Analysts, and Mechanical Engineers. A number of internships are also available.

Visit SimplyHired.com and lockheedmartin.com.

© 2013 Patty Inglish

More by this Author


Comments 9 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

OK, I will just say it; I am damn proud to be an American.


AUPADHYAY profile image

AUPADHYAY 3 years ago from INDIA, UTTAR PRADESH STATE, KANPUR CITY

Wonderful hub. I learnt from it very much. Voted it up.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Thank you both for your opinions!

It's a great astronaut class and reflects some of the much good there is in America and our people. Jawdropping.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Patty great informative hub and it is so nice to see more woman astronauts that there has been before. Great photos to !

Vote up and more !!! Sharing !


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I was overwhelmed at the amount of training and experience these 30-somethings have - so much Antarctic and undersea experience that will help with the isolation of space...and women combat pilots! A couple of doctors too, male and female.

This would make a great group to be the subject of another "The Right Stuff" movie.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

I enjoyed this lesson. It awakes my interest in the space program and gives me some familiarity with the astronauts. Voted Up and Useful. Thanks!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for commenting, MsDora! This new class of astronauts is a group of people to watch closely. This period in history will be a lot of fun and I hope tragedy-free.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

The astronaut selection for some reason has boosted my hope that a man will set foot on Mars before I retire (permanently) from this planet. I have been waiting for that moment, mostly in vain, from when I was five years old, standing with mouth agape in front of our black and white TV as Neil Armstrong set foot upon the moon. It seemed so easy back then. What the @#$! happened?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

That is a good question. Government intervention, I suspect.

JFK forbade John Glenn to fly in space again, supposedly to protect a living national treasure; but Glenn finally went up again in 1998 at the age of 77 -- It took 35 years. For some reason we do not know, the govt wants us to bypass the moon now.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working