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NASA’s New Class of Astronauts is Gender Equal

Today in Awesome

NASA announced today the eight members of it’s new class of astronauts– four of which were women. That is the highest percentage of women in a NASA class to date.

The women in question are:

  • Major Nicole Aunapu Mann– Marines F/A 18 pilot, graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Stanford University, and Penngrove, California native.
  • Major Anne McClain– U.S. Army, Westpoint graduate, and OH-58 helicopter pilot from Spokane, Washington.
  • Jessica Meir– Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School with a Ph. D. from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, from Caribou, Maine.
  • Christina Hammock— Graduate of North Carolina State University, Chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration station in American Samoa. From Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Essentially, these are some incredibly impressive ladies.

Also in the class are four men, all from military backgrounds: Dr. Andrew Morgan, Joe Cassada, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover, and Air Force Lt. Col. Tyler Hague.

According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, The astronaut class of 2013 will be the ones manning the first human mission to an asteroid (set to happen in the 2020s) and then the first manned mission to Mars (slated for sometime in the 2030s). They will be reporting for duty at the Johnson Space Center in Houston come August.

Bolden said:

These new space explorers asked to join NASA because they know we’re doing big, bold things here — developing missions to go farther into space than ever before.

Ah, space. The final frontier. These are the voyages… (please fill in the rest of this speech here).

Seriously, though: these women (and men) are boldly going where few have gone before. Considering that today is also the 30th anniversary of the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, it’s fitting that this landmark announcement lines up in what is truly a fantastic feminist syzygy.

(via Washington Post and NASA,  image from Slate)

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