2017 Astronaut Candidate Class News Conference | Summary and Q&A

June 7, 2017
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2017 Astronaut Candidate Class News Conference


Twelve new astronaut candidates from diverse backgrounds share their inspirations and aspirations for space exploration.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How many of the candidates knew they wanted to be astronauts since childhood?

While some candidates had childhood dreams of becoming astronauts, others discovered their passion for space exploration later in life. Different experiences, such as attending space camp or witnessing space shuttle launches, influenced their career choices.

Q: What are the candidates' thoughts on nuclear thermal propulsion for deep space exploration?

One of the candidates, Kayla Barron, with a background in nuclear engineering, is interested in nuclear propulsion. However, they acknowledge that they are still in the early stages of their training and do not have extensive knowledge on the specific technologies NASA is working on.

Q: What destinations or vehicles were the candidates told they might be going to during the selection process?

The candidates were informed about the potential use of SpaceX Dragon and Boeing Starliner spacecraft for transportation to the International Space Station. Future missions to Mars and other destinations were also mentioned, although details were unclear at the time of the interview.

Q: How does the 2017 astronaut candidate class differ from previous classes?

This class was selected based on their skills and experiences relevant to longer-term spaceflights, including extended stays on the International Space Station and potential deep space missions. Many candidates have backgrounds in remote and extreme environments, such as working in Antarctica or on submarines.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Twelve astronaut candidates from various backgrounds and experiences are introduced at the Johnson Space Center.

  • Each candidate shares their inspirations and experiences that led them to pursue a career in space exploration.

  • The candidates discuss their hopes for the future, including deep space exploration and the potential for discovering new knowledge.

  • The importance of teamwork, dedication, and pursuing one's passion is emphasized by the candidates.

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