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How

‘the Right Stuff’

has changed

Between 1959 and 2017, NASA selected 22 groups of astronauts. The initial “star voyagers” were picked for their piloting skills and their ability to keep calm and act fast under pressure. Over time, the U.S. space agency’s criteria changed, and selection teams began seeking out more diverse candidates with a variety of educational and scientific backgrounds.

 

By Jason Treat, Jay Bennett,

and Christopher Turner

PublisheD November 6, 2020

1959

2017

Most astronauts have been white, male, and military.

When NASA put out the call for the first astronauts, the space agency suggested it would accept applications from essentially any man shorter than five feet eleven inches tall who participated in dangerous and physically demanding activities such as scuba diving, mountaineering, or parachute jumping. But President Dwight Eisenhower intervened, deciding that applications would be taken only from military test pilots—all of whom where white men in the 1950s. That model held until 1965 when the first scientists were selected. NASA selected only white men until 1978, when a combination of shifting cultural attitudes and new requirements to fly the space shuttle gave women and people of color the opportunity to join the astronaut corps.

How ‘the Right Stuff’ has changed

Between 1959 and 2017, NASA selected 22 groups of astronauts. The initial “star voyagers” were picked for their piloting skills and their ability to keep calm and act fast under pressure. Over time, the U.S. space agency’s criteria changed, and selection teams began seeking out more diverse candidates with a variety of educational and scientific backgrounds.

 

By Jason Treat, Jay Bennett, and Christopher Turner

PublisheD November 6, 2020

1959

2017

Most astronauts have been white, male, and military.

When NASA put out the call for the first astronauts, the space agency suggested it would accept applications from essentially any man shorter than five feet eleven inches tall who participated in dangerous and physically demanding activities such as scuba diving, mountaineering, or parachute jumping. But President Dwight Eisenhower intervened, deciding that applications would be taken only from military test pilots—all of whom where white men in the 1950s. That model held until 1965 when the first scientists were selected. NASA selected only white men until 1978, when a combination of shifting cultural attitudes and new requirements to fly the space shuttle gave women and people of color the opportunity to join the astronaut corps.

How ‘the Right Stuff’ has changed

Between 1959 and 2017, NASA selected 22 groups of astronauts. The initial “star voyagers” were picked for their piloting skills and their ability to keep calm and act fast under pressure. Over time, the U.S. space agency’s criteria changed, and selection teams began seeking out more diverse candidates with a variety of educational and scientific backgrounds.

 

By Jason Treat, Jay Bennett, and Christopher Turner

PublisheD November 6, 2020

1959

2017

Most astronauts have been white, male, and military.

When NASA put out the call for the first astronauts, the space agency suggested it would accept applications from essentially any man shorter than five feet eleven inches tall who participated in dangerous and physically demanding activities such as scuba diving, mountaineering, or parachute jumping. But President Dwight Eisenhower intervened, deciding that applications would be taken only from military test pilots—all of whom where white men in the 1950s. That model held until 1965 when the first scientists were selected. NASA selected only white men until 1978, when a combination of shifting cultural attitudes and new requirements to fly the space shuttle gave women and people of color the opportunity to join the astronaut corps.

KEY

Men

Women

White

Other ethnicity

Military experience

KEY

Men

Women

White

Other ethnicity

Military experience

KEY

Men

Women

White

Other ethnicity

Military experience

Year

Group

Men

Women

1959

1

1962

2

1963

3

Group 8 in 1978 marked the first time non-white and women astronauts were selected.

1965

4

1966

5

1967

6

1969

7

1978

8

1980

9

1984

10

1985

11

1987

12

1990

13

1992

14

1994

15

1996

16

1998

17

2000

18

2004

19

2009

20

2013

21

2017

22

Group 21 in 2013 marked the first time there were an equal number of men and women selected.

Year

Group

Men

Women

1959

1

1962

2

1963

3

Group 8 in 1978 marked the first time non-white and women astronauts were selected.

1965

4

1966

5

1967

6

1969

7

1978

8

1980

9

1984

10

1985

11

1987

12

1990

13

1992

14

1994

15

1996

16

1998

17

Group 21 in 2013 marked the first time there were an equal number of men and women selected.

2000

18

2004

19

2009

20

2013

21

2017

22

Year

Group

Women

Men

1959

1

1962

2

1963

3

Group 8 in 1978 marked the first time non-white and women astronauts were selected.

1965

4

1966

5

1967

6

1969

7

1978

8

1980

9

1984

10

1985

11

1987

12

1990

13

1992

14

1994

15

1996

16

Group 21 in 2013 marked the first time there were an equal number of men and women selected.

1998

17

2000

18

2004

19

2009

20

2013

21

2017

22

Most astronauts have been chosen in their 30s,

with a few exceptions.

Unlike the Soviet Union, which selected people in their 20s for the first group of cosmonauts, NASA’s first group of astronauts were all in their mid-30s. Above all else, both countries were looking for people who were physically fit enough to withstand the extreme, and still mysterious, pressures of spaceflight. As the space agencies gained experience, they began to select people from a wider age range. John Glenn, in his 30s when chosen for the first astronaut group, would fly on a space shuttle mission at age 77, becoming the oldest person to fly to space.

30

40

50

25 years

old at

selection

35

45

Group 1

2

Youngest man

Anthony W. England

3

4

5

6

7

Oldest woman

Barbara R. Morgan

8

9

10

Oldest man

John L. Phillips

11

12

13

Youngest woman

Tamara E. Jernigan

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

33

(9.5%)

174

(50.2%)

111

(32.1%)

26

(7.5%)

2

(0.1%)

Most astronauts have been chosen in their 30s,

with a few exceptions.

Unlike the Soviet Union, which selected people in their 20s for the first group of cosmonauts, NASA’s first group of astronauts were all in their mid-30s. Above all else, both countries were looking for people who were physically fit enough to withstand the extreme, and still mysterious, pressures of spaceflight. As the space agencies gained experience, they began to select people from a wider age range. John Glenn, in his 30s when chosen for the first astronaut group, would fly on a space shuttle mission at age 77, becoming the oldest person to fly to space.

25 years old

at selection

30

35

40

45

50

Group 1

2

Youngest man at selection

Anthony W. England

25 years, 3 months, 12 days

3

4

5

6

7

First astronaut

selected over 40

Karl G. Heinze

41 years, 2 months, 27 days

8

9

10

11

12

Oldest man at selection

John L. Phillips

45 years, 16 days

Youngest

woman

at selection

Tamara E. Jernigan

26 years, 28 days

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

Oldest woman

at selection

Barbara R. Morgan

46 years, 6 months, 7 days

20

21

22

33 astronauts (9.5%)

have been

selected between

the age of 25 and 30

174 (50.2%)

have been

selected between

the age of 30 and 35

111 (32.1%)

have been

selected between

the age of 35 and 40

26 (7.5%)

have been

selected between

the age of 40 and 45

2 (0.1%)

have been

selected older

than 45

Most astronauts have been chosen in their 30s,

with a few exceptions.

Unlike the Soviet Union, which selected people in their 20s for the first group of cosmonauts, NASA’s first group of astronauts were all in their mid-30s. Above all else, both countries were looking for people who were physically fit enough to withstand the extreme, and still mysterious, pressures of spaceflight. As the space agencies gained experience, they began to select people from a wider age range. John Glenn, in his 30s when chosen for the first astronaut group, would fly on a space shuttle mission at age 77, becoming the oldest person to fly to space.

Youngest man at selection

Anthony W. England

25 years, 3 months, 12 days

25 years old

at selection

30

35

40

45

50

Group 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

First astronaut

selected over 40

Karl G. Heinze

41 years, 2 months, 27 days

8

9

10

11

12

Oldest man at selection

John L. Phillips

45 years, 16 days

13

Youngest woman

at selection

Tamara E. Jernigan

26 years, 28 days

14

15

16

17

18

19

Oldest woman

at selection

Barbara R. Morgan

46 years, 6 months, 7 days

20

21

22

33 astronauts (9.5%)

have been

selected between

the age of 25 and 30

174 (50.2%)

have been

selected between

the age of 30 and 35

111 (32.1%)

have been

selected between

the age of 35 and 40

26 (7.5%)

have been

selected between

the age of 40 and 45

2 (0.1%)

have been

selected older

than 45

1959

Group 1

The “Mercury Seven”

The original seven U.S. astronauts selected to fly the Mercury capsule exemplified what author Tom Wolfe would describe as “the right stuff”—a military test pilot’s acumen, including a knack for making split-second decisions under extreme physical strain with their lives on the line. This group included Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the planet.

Front row, L-R: Walter M. Schirra Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn Jr., M. Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R:  Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

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Education level when selected

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1959

Group 1

The “Mercury Seven”

The original seven U.S. astronauts selected to fly the Mercury capsule exemplified what author Tom Wolfe would describe as “the right stuff”—a military test pilot’s acumen, including a knack for making split-second decisions under extreme physical strain with their lives on the line. This group included Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the planet.

Front row, L-R: Walter M. Schirra Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn Jr., M. Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R:  Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

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M.D.

Education level when selected

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M. Scott

Carpenter

L. Gordon

Cooper, Jr.

John H.

Glenn, Jr.

Virgil I. (Gus)

Grissom

Walter M.

Schirra, Jr.

Donald K.

Slayton

Alan Shepard

1959

Group 1

The “Mercury Seven”

The original seven U.S. astronauts selected to fly the Mercury capsule exemplified what author Tom Wolfe would describe as “the right stuff”—a military test pilot’s acumen, including a knack for making split-second decisions under extreme physical strain with their lives on the line. This group included Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the planet.

Front row, L-R: Walter M. Schirra Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn Jr., M. Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R:  Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Education level when selected

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

M. Scott

Carpenter

L. Gordon

Cooper, Jr.

John H.

Glenn, Jr.

Virgil I. (Gus)

Grissom

Alan

Shepard

Walter M.

Schirra, Jr.

Donald K.

Slayton

1962

Group 2

The “Next Nine”

NASA selected its second group of astronauts while preparing for Project Gemini, a program to test the technologies needed to go to the moon. This group, which also required test pilot backgrounds, included some of the most storied U.S. astronauts. Among them: Ed White, the first American to conduct a spacewalk; Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, who made the first flight to the moon on Apollo 8; and Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the surface of another planetary body.

Kneeling, L-R: Charles Conrad, Jr., Frank Borman, Neil A. Armstrong, and John W. Young; Standing, L-R: Elliot M. See, Jr., James A. McDivitt, James A. Lovell, Jr., Edward H. White II, and Thomas P. Stafford.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1962

Group 2

The “Next Nine”

NASA selected its second group of astronauts while preparing for Project Gemini, a program to test the technologies needed to go to the moon. This group, which also required test pilot backgrounds, included some of the most storied U.S. astronauts. Among them: Ed White, the first American to conduct a spacewalk; Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, who made the first flight to the moon on Apollo 8; and Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the surface of another planetary body.

Kneeling, L-R: Charles Conrad, Jr., Frank Borman, Neil A. Armstrong, and John W. Young; Standing, L-R: Elliot M. See, Jr., James A. McDivitt, James A. Lovell, Jr., Edward H. White II, and Thomas P. Stafford.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Charles

Conrad, Jr.

Neil A.

Armstrong

Frank

Borman

James A.

Lovell, Jr.

Elliot M.

See, Jr.

Edward H.

White, II

James A.

McDivitt

Thomas P.

Stafford

John W.

Young

1962

Group 2

The “Next Nine”

NASA selected its second group of astronauts while preparing for Project Gemini, a program to test the technologies needed to go to the moon. This group, which also required test pilot backgrounds, included some of the most storied U.S. astronauts. Among them: Ed White, the first American to conduct a spacewalk; Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, who made the first flight to the moon on Apollo 8; and Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the surface of another planetary body.

Kneeling, L-R: Charles Conrad, Jr., Frank Borman, Neil A. Armstrong, and John W. Young; Standing, L-R: Elliot M. See, Jr., James A. McDivitt, James A. Lovell, Jr., Edward H. White II, and Thomas P. Stafford.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Charles

Conrad, Jr.

James A.

Lovell, Jr.

Neil A.

Armstrong

Frank

Borman

James A.

McDivitt

Thomas P.

Stafford

Elliot M.

See, Jr.

Edward H.

White, II

John W.

Young

1963

Group 3

Beyond test pilots

For the third group of NASA astronauts, the space agency accepted test pilot experience instead of requiring military jet pilot backgrounds. Four of the 14 men in this cohort died in training accidents. The surviving 10 all flew on Apollo missions, and four of them walked on the moon, including Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin—the first NASA astronaut with a doctorate degree, which he earned in astronautics in 1963.

Front row, L-R: Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., William A. Anders, Charles A. Bassett II, Alan L. Bean, Eugene A. Cernan and Roger B. Chaffee. Back row, L-R: Michael Collins, Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, Theodore C. Freeman, Richard F. Gordon Jr., Russell L. Scweickart, David R. Scott and Clifton C. Williams Jr.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Buzz Aldrin

First astronaut

with a doctorate

1963

Group 3

Beyond test pilots

For the third group of NASA astronauts, the space agency accepted test pilot experience instead of requiring military jet pilot backgrounds. Four of the 14 men in this cohort died in training accidents. The surviving 10 all flew on Apollo missions, and four of them walked on the moon, including Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin—the first NASA astronaut with a doctorate degree, which he earned in astronautics in 1963.

Front row, L-R: Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., William A. Anders, Charles A. Bassett II, Alan L. Bean, Eugene A. Cernan and Roger B. Chaffee. Back row, L-R: Michael Collins, Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, Theodore C. Freeman, Richard F. Gordon Jr., Russell L. Scweickart, David R. Scott and Clifton C. Williams Jr.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Charles A.

Bassett, II

William A.

Anders

Eugene A.

Cernan

Buzz Aldrin

Alan L.

Bean

Walter

Cunningham

Donn F.

Eisele

First astronaut

with a doctorate

Roger B.

Chaffee

Theodore C.

Freeman

Russell L.

Schweickart

Michael

Collins

David R.

Scott

Richard F.

Gordon, Jr.

Clifton C., Jr.

Williams

1963

Group 3

Beyond test pilots

For the third group of NASA astronauts, the space agency accepted test pilot experience instead of requiring military jet pilot backgrounds. Four of the 14 men in this cohort died in training accidents. The surviving 10 all flew on Apollo missions, and four of them walked on the moon, including Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin—the first NASA astronaut with a doctorate degree, which he earned in astronautics in 1963.

Front row, L-R: Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., William A. Anders, Charles A. Bassett II, Alan L. Bean, Eugene A. Cernan and Roger B. Chaffee. Back row, L-R: Michael Collins, Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, Theodore C. Freeman, Richard F. Gordon Jr., Russell L. Scweickart, David R. Scott and Clifton C. Williams Jr.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Buzz Aldrin

Charles A.

Bassett, II

Alan L.

Bean

William A.

Anders

Eugene A.

Cernan

Walter

Cunningham

Donn F.

Eisele

Roger B.

Chaffee

Michael

Collins

Theodore C.

Freeman

Russell L.

Schweickart

David R.

Scott

First astronaut

with a doctorate

Richard F.

Gordon, Jr.

Clifton C., Jr.

Williams

1965

Group 4

The Scientists

As NASA gained experience in human spaceflight, the astronaut corps admitted the first spacefarers without military backgrounds, including the first scientists. Geologist Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walked on the lunar surface during Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon. Medical doctor Joseph Kerwin, electrical engineer Owen Garriott, and engineer and physicist Edward Gibson all conducted research on Skylab, the first U.S. space station, between 1973 and 1974.

Front row, L-R: Walter M. Schirra Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn Jr., M. Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R:  Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Edward Gibson and

Harrison Schmitt

First civilian astronauts

1965

Group 4

The Scientists

As NASA gained experience in human spaceflight, the astronaut corps admitted the first spacefarers without military backgrounds, including the first scientists. Geologist Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walked on the lunar surface during Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon. Medical doctor Joseph Kerwin, electrical engineer Owen Garriott, and engineer and physicist Edward Gibson all conducted research on Skylab, the first U.S. space station, between 1973 and 1974.

Front row, L-R: Frank C. Michel, Harrison H. Schmitt and Joseph P. Kerwin. Back row, L-R: Owen K. Garriot and Edward G. Gibson.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Owen K.

Garriott

Edward G.

Gibson

Duane E.

Graveline

F. Curtis

Michel

Harrison H.

Schmitt

Joseph P.

Kerwin

First civilian

astronauts

1965

Group 4

The Scientists

As NASA gained experience in human spaceflight, the astronaut corps admitted the first spacefarers without military backgrounds, including the first scientists. Geologist Harrison “Jack” Schmitt walked on the lunar surface during Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon. Medical doctor Joseph Kerwin, electrical engineer Owen Garriott, and engineer and physicist Edward Gibson all conducted research on Skylab, the first U.S. space station, between 1973 and 1974.

Front row, L-R: Frank C. Michel, Harrison H. Schmitt and Joseph P. Kerwin. Back row, L-R: Owen K. Garriot and Edward G. Gibson.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

F. Curtis

Michel

Harrison H.

Schmitt

Duane E.

Graveline

Owen K.

Garriott

Edward G.

Gibson

First civilian astronauts

Joseph P.

Kerwin

1966

Group 5

Shifting Targets

By 1965, NASA had grand ambitions for the future of the Apollo program, including multiple space stations and dozens of crewed flights. To prepare for this vision of the future, the space agency recruited a new class of 19 pilot astronauts. About half of this group flew to the moon on Apollo missions, and many flew on the Skylab space station in the 1970s or served as commanders for early flights of the space shuttle, which first launched to orbit in 1981.

Seated, L-R: Edward G. Givens Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, Charles M. Duke Jr., Don L. Lind, Fred W. Haise Jr., Joe H. Engle, Vance D. Brand, John S. Bull and Bruce McCandless II. Standing, L-R: John L. Swigert Jr., William R. Pogue, Ronald E. Evans, Paul J. Weitz, James B. Irwin, Gerald P. Carr, Stuart A. Roosa, Alfred M. Worden, Thomas K. Mattingly and Jack R. Lousma.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1966

Group 5

Shifting Targets

By 1965, NASA had grand ambitions for the future of the Apollo program, including multiple space stations and dozens of crewed flights. To prepare for this vision of the future, the space agency recruited a new class of 19 pilot astronauts. About half of this group flew to the moon on Apollo missions, and many flew on the Skylab space station in the 1970s or served as commanders for early flights of the space shuttle, which first launched to orbit in 1981.

Seated, L-R: Edward G. Givens Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, Charles M. Duke Jr., Don L. Lind, Fred W. Haise Jr., Joe H. Engle, Vance D. Brand, John S. Bull and Bruce McCandless II. Standing, L-R: John L. Swigert Jr., William R. Pogue, Ronald E. Evans, Paul J. Weitz, James B. Irwin, Gerald P. Carr, Stuart A. Roosa, Alfred M. Worden, Thomas K. Mattingly and Jack R. Lousma.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Joe H.

Engle

Vance D.

Brand

Gerald P.

Carr

Charles M.

Duke, Jr.

John S.

Bull

Don L.

Lind

Edgar D.

Mitchell

James B.

Irwin

Jack R.

Lousma

Edward G.

Givens, Jr.

Ronald E.

Evans

Bruce

McCandless, II

William R.

Pogue

Fred W.

Haise, Jr.

John L.

Swigert, Jr.

Paul J.

Weitz

Alfred M.

Worden

Thomas K.

Mattingly, II

Stuart A.

Roosa

1966

Group 5

Shifting Targets

By 1965, NASA had grand ambitions for the future of the Apollo program, including multiple space stations and dozens of crewed flights. To prepare for this vision of the future, the space agency recruited a new class of 19 pilot astronauts. About half of this group flew to the moon on Apollo missions, and many flew on the Skylab space station in the 1970s or served as commanders for early flights of the space shuttle, which first launched to orbit in 1981.

Seated, L-R: Edward G. Givens Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, Charles M. Duke Jr., Don L. Lind, Fred W. Haise Jr., Joe H. Engle, Vance D. Brand, John S. Bull and Bruce McCandless II. Standing, L-R: John L. Swigert Jr., William R. Pogue, Ronald E. Evans, Paul J. Weitz, James B. Irwin, Gerald P. Carr, Stuart A. Roosa, Alfred M. Worden, Thomas K. Mattingly and Jack R. Lousma.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Joe H.

Engle

Edward G.

Givens, Jr.

Vance D.

Brand

Gerald P.

Carr

Charles M.

Duke, Jr.

Ronald E.

Evans

John S.

Bull

Don L.

Lind

Edgar D.

Mitchell

Fred W.

Haise, Jr.

Thomas K.

Mattingly, II

James B.

Irwin

Jack R.

Lousma

Bruce

McCandless, II

William R.

Pogue

Stuart A.

Roosa

John L.

Swigert, Jr.

Paul J.

Weitz

Alfred M.

Worden

1967

Group 6

Second wave of scientists

After accepting more pilots, NASA took on a second group of scientists. Deke Slayton, director of flight crew operations, told the whole group bluntly that they would not be needed for some time because pending budget cuts from Washington would suspend or cancel planned flights. The group named themselves the “Excess Eleven” in response, and four members resigned having never flown to space. The remaining 11 served on early space shuttle flights as mission specialists, a new type of astronaut tasked to oversee science, medical, or engineering experiments.

Seated at the table, L-R: Philip K. Chapman, Robert A. R. Parker, William E. Thornton and John A. Llewellyn. Standing, L-R: Joseph P. Allen IV, Karl G. Henize, Anthony W. England, Donald L. Holmquest, Story Musgrave, William B. Lenoir and Brian T. O'Leary.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Donald

Holmquest

held a Ph.D

and a M.D.

Philip K.

Chapman

First Australian-

American astronaut

1967

Group 6

Second wave of scientists

After accepting more pilots, NASA took on a second group of scientists. Deke Slayton, director of flight crew operations, told the whole group bluntly that they would not be needed for some time because pending budget cuts from Washington would suspend or cancel planned flights. The group named themselves the “Excess Eleven” in response, and four members resigned having never flown to space. The remaining 11 served on early space shuttle flights as mission specialists, a new type of astronaut tasked to oversee science, medical, or engineering experiments.

Seated at the table, L-R: Philip K. Chapman, Robert A. R. Parker, William E. Thornton and John A. Llewellyn. Standing, L-R: Joseph P. Allen IV, Karl G. Henize, Anthony W. England, Donald L. Holmquest, Story Musgrave, William B. Lenoir and Brian T. O'Leary.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Joseph P.

Allen

Philip K.

Chapman

Anthony W.

England

Story

Musgrave

Karl G.

Henize

William B.

Lenoir

John A.

Llewellyn

William E.

Thornton

Brian T.

O'Leary

Robert A. R.

Parker

Donald L.

Holmquest

First Australian-

American astronaut

Held a Ph.D and a M.D.

1967

Group 6

Second wave of scientists

After accepting more pilots, NASA took on a second group of scientists. Deke Slayton, director of flight crew operations, told the whole group bluntly that they would not be needed for some time because pending budget cuts from Washington would suspend or cancel planned flights. The group named themselves the “Excess Eleven” in response, and four members resigned having never flown to space. The remaining 11 served on early space shuttle flights as mission specialists, a new type of astronaut tasked to oversee science, medical, or engineering experiments.

Seated at the table, L-R: Philip K. Chapman, Robert A. R. Parker, William E. Thornton and John A. Llewellyn. Standing, L-R: Joseph P. Allen IV, Karl G. Henize, Anthony W. England, Donald L. Holmquest, Story Musgrave, William B. Lenoir and Brian T. O'Leary.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Anthony W.

England

Karl G.

Henize

Story

Musgrave

Joseph P.

Allen

Philip K.

Chapman

William B.

Lenoir

Brian T.

O'Leary

Robert A. R.

Parker

William E.

Thornton

John A.

Llewellyn

First Australian-

American astronaut

Held a Ph.D and a M.D.

Donald L.

Holmquest

1969

Group 7

Military force

After the U.S. Air Force canceled its Manned Orbiting Laboratory program—a military counterpart to NASA’s human spaceflight program—NASA accepted a group of seven astronauts from the project. All were active-duty military personnel when selected, and all flew on early space shuttle missions. Robert Crippen served as the pilot on the inaugural space shuttle flight, STS-1. Richard Truly was the first astronaut to become NASA administrator, serving from 1989 to 1992 under President George H. W. Bush.

L-R: Karol J. Bobko, Charles G. Fullerton, Henry W. Hartsfield Jr., Robert L. Crippen, Donald H. Peterson, Richard H. Truly and Robert F. Overmyer.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1969

Group 7

Military force

After the U.S. Air Force canceled its Manned Orbiting Laboratory program—a military counterpart to NASA’s human spaceflight program—NASA accepted a group of seven astronauts from the project. All were active-duty military personnel when selected, and all flew on early space shuttle missions. Robert Crippen served as the pilot on the inaugural space shuttle flight, STS-1. Richard Truly was the first astronaut to become NASA administrator, serving from 1989 to 1992 under President George H. W. Bush.

L-R: Karol J. Bobko, Charles G. Fullerton, Henry W. Hartsfield Jr., Robert L. Crippen, Donald H. Peterson, Richard H. Truly and Robert F. Overmyer.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Robert L.

Crippen

Karol J.

Bobko

Charles G.

Fullerton

Henry W., Jr.

Hartsfield

Richard H.

Truly

Robert F.

Overmyer

Donald H.

Peterson

1969

Group 7

Military force

After the U.S. Air Force canceled its Manned Orbiting Laboratory program—a military counterpart to NASA’s human spaceflight program—NASA accepted a group of seven astronauts from the project. All were active-duty military personnel when selected, and all flew on early space shuttle missions. Robert Crippen served as the pilot on the inaugural space shuttle flight, STS-1. Richard Truly was the first astronaut to become NASA administrator, serving from 1989 to 1992 under President George H. W. Bush.

L-R: Karol J. Bobko, Charles G. Fullerton, Henry W. Hartsfield Jr., Robert L. Crippen, Donald H. Peterson, Richard H. Truly and Robert F. Overmyer.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Robert L.

Crippen

Richard H.

Truly

Karol J.

Bobko

Charles G.

Fullerton

Henry W., Jr.

Hartsfield

Robert F.

Overmyer

Donald H.

Peterson

1978

Group 8

Increasing diversity

Up to this point, all NASA astronauts had been white men. In 1978, as it prepared in earnest for a future on the space shuttle, NASA recruited the largest and most diverse group yet. It included six women, three African Americans, one Asian American, and one Jewish American, and was made up of 15 pilots and 20 mission specialists. Among them: Norman Thagard, the first American to fly on a Russian rocket, and Shannon Lucid, who stayed aboard the Russian Mir space station for about six months—the longest spaceflight by an American at the time.

They are arranged in alphabetical order with top left as beginning point and bottom right as stopping point. They are Guion S. Bluford, Daniel C. Brandenstein, James F. Buchli, Michael L. Coats, Richard O. Covey, John O. Creighton, John M. Fabian, Anna L. Fisher, Dale A. Gardner, Robert L. Gibson, Frederick D. Gregory, S. David Griggs, Terry J. Hart, Frederick H. (Rick) Hauck, Steven A. Hawley, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Shannon W. Lucid, Jon A. McBride, Ronald E. McNair, Richard M. (Mike) Mullane, Steven R. Nagel, George D. Nelson, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Sally K. Ride, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Rhea Seddon, Brewster H. Shaw Jr., Loren J. Shriver, Robert L. Stewart, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Norman E. Thagard, James D. van Hoften, David M. Walker and Donald E. Williams.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Ellison S.

Onizuka

First Asian-

American in space

Guion S.

Bluford, Jr.

First African-

American

in space

Jeffrey A.

Hoffman

First Jewish

American in space

Sally K. Ride

First American woman

in space

1978

Group 8

Increasing diversity

Up to this point, all NASA astronauts had been white men. In 1978, as it prepared in earnest for a future on the space shuttle, NASA recruited the largest and most diverse group yet. It included six women, three African Americans, one Asian American, and one Jewish American, and was made up of 15 pilots and 20 mission specialists. Among them: Norman Thagard, the first American to fly on a Russian rocket, and Shannon Lucid, who stayed aboard the Russian Mir space station for about six months—the longest spaceflight by an American at the time.

They are arranged in alphabetical order with top left as beginning point and bottom right as stopping point. They are Guion S. Bluford, Daniel C. Brandenstein, James F. Buchli, Michael L. Coats, Richard O. Covey, John O. Creighton, John M. Fabian, Anna L. Fisher, Dale A. Gardner, Robert L. Gibson, Frederick D. Gregory, S. David Griggs, Terry J. Hart, Frederick H. (Rick) Hauck, Steven A. Hawley, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Shannon W. Lucid, Jon A. McBride, Ronald E. McNair, Richard M. (Mike) Mullane, Steven R. Nagel, George D. Nelson, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Sally K. Ride, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Rhea Seddon, Brewster H. Shaw Jr., Loren J. Shriver, Robert L. Stewart, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Norman E. Thagard, James D. van Hoften, David M. Walker and Donald E. Williams.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Steven A.

Hawley

Anna L.

Fisher

Daniel C.

Brandenstein

James F.

Buchli

Michael L.

Coats

Richard O.

Covey

Guion S.

Bluford, Jr.

John M.

Fabian

Shannon W.

Lucid

Dale A.

Gardner

John O.

Creighton

Frederick D.

Gregory

S. David

Griggs

Jeffrey A.

Hoffman

Ronald E.

McNair

George D.

Nelson

Judith A.

Resnik

Sally K.

Ride

Robert L.

Gibson

Terry J.

Hart

Frederick H.

Hauck

Richard M. “Mike”

Mullane

Margaret Rhea

Seddon

Jon A.

McBride

Steven R.

Nagel

Ellison S.

Onizuka

Brewster H.

Shaw, Jr.

Kathryn D.

Sullivan

James D. A.

Van Hoften

First African-

American

in space

First Jewish

American in space

First American woman

in space

Francis R.

Scobee

Loren J.

Shriver

Robert L.

Stew art

Norman E.

Thagard

First Asian-American in space

Donald E.

Williams

David M.

Walker

1978

Group 8

Increasing diversity

Up to this point, all NASA astronauts had been white men. In 1978, as it prepared in earnest for a future on the space shuttle, NASA recruited the largest and most diverse group yet. It included six women, three African Americans, one Asian American, and one Jewish American, and was made up of 15 pilots and 20 mission specialists. Among them: Norman Thagard, the first American to fly on a Russian rocket, and Shannon Lucid, who stayed aboard the Russian Mir space station for about six months—the longest spaceflight by an American at the time.

They are arranged in alphabetical order with top left as beginning point and bottom right as stopping point. They are Guion S. Bluford, Daniel C. Brandenstein, James F. Buchli, Michael L. Coats, Richard O. Covey, John O. Creighton, John M. Fabian, Anna L. Fisher, Dale A. Gardner, Robert L. Gibson, Frederick D. Gregory, S. David Griggs, Terry J. Hart, Frederick H. (Rick) Hauck, Steven A. Hawley, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Shannon W. Lucid, Jon A. McBride, Ronald E. McNair, Richard M. (Mike) Mullane, Steven R. Nagel, George D. Nelson, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Sally K. Ride, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Rhea Seddon, Brewster H. Shaw Jr., Loren J. Shriver, Robert L. Stewart, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Norman E. Thagard, James D. van Hoften, David M. Walker and Donald E. Williams.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Dale A.

Gardner

James F.

Buchli

Michael L.

Coats

Richard O.

Covey

John O.

Creighton

Steven A.

Hawley

Jeffrey A.

Hoffman

Shannon W.

Lucid

Anna L.

Fisher

Daniel C.

Brandenstein

Guion S.

Bluford, Jr.

Jon A.

McBride

Frederick D.

Gregory

S. David

Griggs

Terry J.

Hart

Richard M. “Mike”

Mullane

George D.

Nelson

Judith A.

Resnik

Sally K.

Ride

Robert L.

Gibson

Ronald E.

McNair

Donald E.

Williams

Steven R.

Nagel

Ellison S.

Onizuka

Brewster H.

Shaw, Jr.

Loren J.

Shriver

Margaret Rhea

Seddon

Kathryn D.

Sullivan

James D. A.

Van Hoften

John M.

Fabian

Francis R.

Scobee

First Asian-

American in space

First African-

American in space

First Jewish

American in space

First

American woman

in space

David M.

Walker

Robert L.

Stewart

Norman E.

Thagard

Frederick H.

Hauck

1980

Group 9

International astronauts

The ninth class of NASA astronauts included the first international crewmembers, selected from the European Space Agency: Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels. The group also included Franklin Chang-Díaz, the first Costa Rican American astronaut; he flew on seven missions, tying with group member Jerry Ross for most spaceflights. Charles Bolden, who flew on four space shuttle missions and later served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama, was also a member of this group.

Back row, L-R: Gardner, Springer, O'Connor, Ockels, Smith, Lounge. Middle row, L-R: Bagian, Blaha, Nicollier, Hilmers, Fisher, Dunbar, Ross. Front row, L-R: Bolden, Chang-Diaz, Cleave, Leestma, Spring, Richards, Bridges.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Franklin R.

Chang-Díaz

First Costa Rican-

American astronaut

International

astronauts

Claude

Nicollier

First Swiss astronaut

Wubbo J. Ockels

First Dutch astronaut

1980

Group 9

International astronauts

The ninth class of NASA astronauts included the first international crewmembers, selected from the European Space Agency: Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels. The group also included Franklin Chang-Díaz, the first Costa Rican American astronaut; he flew on seven missions, tying with group member Jerry Ross for most spaceflights. Charles Bolden, who flew on four space shuttle missions and later served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama, was also a member of this group.

Back row, L-R: Gardner, Springer, O'Connor, Ockels, Smith, Lounge. Middle row, L-R: Bagian, Blaha, Nicollier, Hilmers, Fisher, Dunbar, Ross. Front row, L-R: Bolden, Chang-Diaz, Cleave, Leestma, Spring, Richards, Bridges.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Charles F.

Bolden, Jr.

John E.

Blaha

William F.

Fisher

Guy S.

Gardner

Franklin R.

Chang-Díaz

Mary L.

Cleave

Bonnie J.

Dunbar

James P.

Bagian

David C.

Hilmers

John M.

Lounge

Bryan D.

O'Connor

Roy D.

Bridges, Jr.

David C.

Leestma

First Costa Rican-

American astronaut

Richard N.

Richards

Jerry L.

Ross

Ronald J.

Grabe

Michael J.

Smith

Sherwood C.

Spring

Robert C.

Springer

International astronauts

First Swiss astronaut

First Dutch

astronaut

Claude

Nicollier

Switzerland

Wubbo J.

Ockels

The Netherlands

1980

Group 9

International astronauts

The ninth class of NASA astronauts included the first international crewmembers, selected from the European Space Agency: Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels. The group also included Franklin Chang-Díaz, the first Costa Rican American astronaut; he flew on seven missions, tying with group member Jerry Ross for most spaceflights. Charles Bolden, who flew on four space shuttle missions and later served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama, was also a member of this group.

Back row, L-R: Gardner, Springer, O'Connor, Ockels, Smith, Lounge. Middle row, L-R: Bagian, Blaha, Nicollier, Hilmers, Fisher, Dunbar, Ross. Front row, L-R: Bolden, Chang-Diaz, Cleave, Leestma, Spring, Richards, Bridges.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Charles F.

Bolden, Jr.

Roy D.

Bridges, Jr.

John E.

Blaha

William F.

Fisher

Guy S.

Gardner

David C.

Leestma

Franklin R.

Chang-Díaz

Mary L.

Cleave

Bonnie J.

Dunbar

James P.

Bagian

David C.

Hilmers

Ronald J.

Grabe

John M.

Lounge

Bryan D.

O'Connor

Richard N.

Richards

Jerry L.

Ross

First Costa Rican-

American astronaut

Michael J.

Smith

Sherwood C.

Spring

Robert C.

Springer

International astronauts

First Swiss astronaut

First Dutch astronaut

Claude

Nicollier

Switzerland

Wubbo J.

Ockels

The Netherlands

1984

Group 10

“The Maggots”

Group member and Navy SEAL William Shepherd bestowed that nickname on this astronaut class during survival training, a nod to the term used for military trainees in boot camp. Due to the grounding of the space shuttle fleet following the Challenger disaster in 1986, none these astronauts had a chance to fly to space until Shepherd served as a mission specialist on Atlantis in 1988. He would go on to command the first long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2000. The group also included Michael J. McCulley, the first submariner in space, and Jim Wetherbee—at six feet four inches, the tallest person from any country to fly to space.

Back row, L-R: Sidney M. Gutierrez, Mark N. Brown, John H. Casper, George D. Low, James D. Wetherbee, Marsha S. Ivins, Manley L. Carter Jr.. Front row, L-R: Mark C. Lee, Lloyd B. Hammond Jr., James C. Adamson, Kenneth D. Cameron, Frank L. Culbertson Jr., William M. Shepherd, Ellen S. Baker, Michael J. McCulley, Kathryn C. Thornton and Charles L. Veach.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Sidney M.

Gutierrez

First American-

born Hispanic

astronaut

1984

Group 10

“The Maggots”

Group member and Navy SEAL William Shepherd bestowed that nickname on this astronaut class during survival training, a nod to the term used for military trainees in boot camp. Due to the grounding of the space shuttle fleet following the Challenger disaster in 1986, none these astronauts had a chance to fly to space until Shepherd served as a mission specialist on Atlantis in 1988. He would go on to command the first long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2000. The group also included Michael J. McCulley, the first submariner in space, and Jim Wetherbee—at six feet four inches, the tallest person from any country to fly to space.

Back row, L-R: Sidney M. Gutierrez, Mark N. Brown, John H. Casper, George D. Low, James D. Wetherbee, Marsha S. Ivins, Manley L. Carter Jr.. Front row, L-R: Mark C. Lee, Lloyd B. Hammond Jr., James C. Adamson, Kenneth D. Cameron, Frank L. Culbertson Jr., William M. Shepherd, Ellen S. Baker, Michael J. McCulley, Kathryn C. Thornton and Charles L. Veach.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Frank L.

Culbertson, Jr.

James C.

Adamson

Mark N.

Brown

Kenneth D.

Cameron

Kathryn C.

Thornton

Ellen S.

Baker

Marsha S.

Ivins

Sidney M.

Gutierrez

John H.

Casper

L. Blaine

Hammond, Jr.

Manley

Lanier

Carter, Jr.

Charles Lacy

Veach

Mark C.

Lee

G. David

Low

Michael J.

McCulley

First American-

born Hispanic

astronaut

James D.

Wetherbee

William M.

Shepherd

1984

Group 10

“The Maggots”

Group member and Navy SEAL William Shepherd bestowed that nickname on this astronaut class during survival training, a nod to the term used for military trainees in boot camp. Due to the grounding of the space shuttle fleet following the Challenger disaster in 1986, none these astronauts had a chance to fly to space until Shepherd served as a mission specialist on Atlantis in 1988. He would go on to command the first long-duration expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2000. The group also included Michael J. McCulley, the first submariner in space, and Jim Wetherbee—at six feet four inches, the tallest person from any country to fly to space.

Back row, L-R: Sidney M. Gutierrez, Mark N. Brown, John H. Casper, George D. Low, James D. Wetherbee, Marsha S. Ivins, Manley L. Carter Jr.. Front row, L-R: Mark C. Lee, Lloyd B. Hammond Jr., James C. Adamson, Kenneth D. Cameron, Frank L. Culbertson Jr., William M. Shepherd, Ellen S. Baker, Michael J. McCulley, Kathryn C. Thornton and Charles L. Veach.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Frank L.

Culbertson, Jr.

Marsha S.

Ivins

James C.

Adamson

Mark N.

Brown

Kenneth D.

Cameron

John H.

Casper

Kathryn C.

Thornton

Ellen S.

Baker

Charles Lacy

Veach

James D.

Wetherbee

Sidney M.

Gutierrez

L. Blaine

Hammond, Jr.

Mark C.

Lee

G. David

Low

Manley Lanier

Carter, Jr.

Michael J.

McCulley

William M.

Shepherd

First American-born

Hispanic astronaut

1985

Group 11

Height of the shuttle era

NASA’s 11th group of astronauts all flew on space shuttle missions except for Stephen Thorne, who died in an airplane crash before he could finish training. Robert D. Cabana was on the first shuttle mission to the ISS in 1998 to deliver the Unity node, which connects the U.S. and Russian segments of the orbiting laboratory. Tamara E. Jernigan flew on the first mission to dock the space shuttle with the ISS in 1999. And in 1992, Richard Hieb and Pierre J. Thuot participated in the first—and so far only—three-person spacewalk (along with Group 12 astronaut Thomas Akers) to capture and redeploy a communications satellite that had not reached its intended orbit.

Front row, L-R: Charles D. Gemar, Pierre J. Thuot, Robert D . Cabana, and Terence T. Henricks. Second row, L-R: Carl J. Meade, Tamara E. Jernigan, Linda M. Godwin and Jerome Apt. Back row, L-R: Stephen D. Thorne, Michael A. Baker, Richard J. Hieb, Brian Duffy and Stephen S. Oswald.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1985

Group 11

Height of the shuttle era

NASA’s 11th group of astronauts all flew on space shuttle missions except for Stephen Thorne, who died in an airplane crash before he could finish training. Robert D. Cabana was on the first shuttle mission to the ISS in 1998 to deliver the Unity node, which connects the U.S. and Russian segments of the orbiting laboratory. Tamara E. Jernigan flew on the first mission to dock the space shuttle with the ISS in 1999. And in 1992, Richard Hieb and Pierre J. Thuot participated in the first—and so far only—three-person spacewalk (along with Group 12 astronaut Thomas Akers) to capture and redeploy a communications satellite that had not reached its intended orbit.

Front row, L-R: Charles D. Gemar, Pierre J. Thuot, Robert D . Cabana, and Terence T. Henricks. Second row, L-R: Carl J. Meade, Tamara E. Jernigan, Linda M. Godwin and Jerome Apt. Back row, L-R: Stephen D. Thorne, Michael A. Baker, Richard J. Hieb, Brian Duffy and Stephen S. Oswald.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Brian

Duffy

Terence T.

Henricks

Michael A.

Baker

Richard J.

Hieb

Jerome

Apt

Linda M.

Godwin

Tamara E.

Jernigan

Robert D.

Cabana

Carl J.

Meade

Pierre J.

Thuot

Charles D.

Gemar

Stephen S.

Oswald

Stephen D.

Thorne

1985

Group 11

Height of the shuttle era

NASA’s 11th group of astronauts all flew on space shuttle missions except for Stephen Thorne, who died in an airplane crash before he could finish training. Robert D. Cabana was on the first shuttle mission to the ISS in 1998 to deliver the Unity node, which connects the U.S. and Russian segments of the orbiting laboratory. Tamara E. Jernigan flew on the first mission to dock the space shuttle with the ISS in 1999. And in 1992, Richard Hieb and Pierre J. Thuot participated in the first—and so far only—three-person spacewalk (along with Group 12 astronaut Thomas Akers) to capture and redeploy a communications satellite that had not reached its intended orbit.

Front row, L-R: Charles D. Gemar, Pierre J. Thuot, Robert D . Cabana, and Terence T. Henricks. Second row, L-R: Carl J. Meade, Tamara E. Jernigan, Linda M. Godwin and Jerome Apt. Back row, L-R: Stephen D. Thorne, Michael A. Baker, Richard J. Hieb, Brian Duffy and Stephen S. Oswald.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Robert D.

Cabana

Brian

Duffy

Terence T.

Henricks

Richard J.

Hieb

Michael A.

Baker

Jerome

Apt

Linda M.

Godwin

Tamara E.

Jernigan

Stephen S.

Oswald

Carl J.

Meade

Pierre J.

Thuot

Charles D.

Gemar

Stephen D.

Thorne

1987

Group 12

“The GAFFers”

The nickname for NASA’s 12th group of astronauts is an acronym for “George Abbey’s Final Fifteen,” a nod to the longtime director of flight operations who led the selection of astronauts during the shuttle era. The group included Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to fly to space, and Bruce Melnick, the first Coast Guard aviator in space. Group member Ken Bowersox, the youngest commander of a space shuttle mission, was serving aboard the ISS in 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on reentry, again grounding the shuttle fleet and forcing Bowersox to return to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Back row, L-R: James S. Voss, Kevin P. Chilton, Curtis L. Brown Jr., Andrew M. Allen, Colin M. Fole,. Middle row, L-R: Nancy J. Davis, Gregory J. Harbaugh, Mae C. Jemison, Kenneth D. Bowersox, Bruce E. Melnick,. Front row, L-R: Mario Runco Jr., Donald R. McMonagle, Kenneth S. Reightler Jr., Thomas D. Akers and William F. Readdy.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Mae C. Jemisen

First African-American woman in space

1987

Group 12

“The GAFFers”

The nickname for NASA’s 12th group of astronauts is an acronym for “George Abbey’s Final Fifteen,” a nod to the longtime director of flight operations who led the selection of astronauts during the shuttle era. The group included Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to fly to space, and Bruce Melnick, the first Coast Guard aviator in space. Group member Ken Bowersox, the youngest commander of a space shuttle mission, was serving aboard the ISS in 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on reentry, again grounding the shuttle fleet and forcing Bowersox to return to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Back row, L-R: James S. Voss, Kevin P. Chilton, Curtis L. Brown Jr., Andrew M. Allen, Colin M. Fole,. Middle row, L-R: Nancy J. Davis, Gregory J. Harbaugh, Mae C. Jemison, Kenneth D. Bowersox, Bruce E. Melnick,. Front row, L-R: Mario Runco Jr., Donald R. McMonagle, Kenneth S. Reightler Jr., Thomas D. Akers and William F. Readdy.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Kenneth D.

Bowersox

Thomas D.

Akers

Andrew M.

Allen

Kevin P.

Chilton

N. Jan

Davis

C. Michael

Foale

Mae C.

Jemison

Curtis L.

Brown, Jr.

Gregory J.

Harbaugh

Donald R.

McMonagle

Bruce E.

Melnick

First

African-

American woman in space

Kenneth S.

Reightler, Jr.

Mario

Runco, Jr.

James S.

Voss

William F.

Readdy

1987

Group 12

“The GAFFers”

The nickname for NASA’s 12th group of astronauts is an acronym for “George Abbey’s Final Fifteen,” a nod to the longtime director of flight operations who led the selection of astronauts during the shuttle era. The group included Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to fly to space, and Bruce Melnick, the first Coast Guard aviator in space. Group member Ken Bowersox, the youngest commander of a space shuttle mission, was serving aboard the ISS in 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on reentry, again grounding the shuttle fleet and forcing Bowersox to return to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Back row, L-R: James S. Voss, Kevin P. Chilton, Curtis L. Brown Jr., Andrew M. Allen, Colin M. Fole,. Middle row, L-R: Nancy J. Davis, Gregory J. Harbaugh, Mae C. Jemison, Kenneth D. Bowersox, Bruce E. Melnick,. Front row, L-R: Mario Runco Jr., Donald R. McMonagle, Kenneth S. Reightler Jr., Thomas D. Akers and William F. Readdy.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Kenneth D.

Bowersox

Curtis L.

Brown, Jr.

Thomas D.

Akers

Andrew M.

Allen

Kevin P.

Chilton

N. Jan

Davis

C. Michael

Foale

Mae C.

Jemison

William F.

Readdy

Gregory J.

Harbaugh

Donald R.

McMonagle

Bruce E.

Melnick

First

African-

American woman in space

Kenneth S.

Reightler, Jr.

Mario

Runco, Jr.

James S.

Voss

1990

Group 13

“The Hairballs”

This astronaut class took a black cat as their mascot, playing off the unlucky connotations of the number 13, which led to their nickname. Group member Eileen Collins, a former Air Force instructor and test pilot, became the first woman to pilot and then command a space shuttle mission. She commanded STS-93, the mission that deployed NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and STS-114, the return-to-flight mission following the Columbia disaster.

Kneeling, L-R, are Charles J. Precourt, Janice E. Voss, Ellen Ochoa, David A. Wolf, Eileen M. Collins and Daniel W. Bursch. Standing, L-R, are William G. Gregory, Peter J. K. Wisoff, Carl E. Walz, Richard A. Searfoss, Donald A. Thomas, James D. Halsell Jr., Thomas D. Jones, James H. Newman, Kenneth D. Cockrell, Bernard A. Harris Jr., Leroy Chiao, Ronald M. Sega, Susan J. Helms, William S. McArthur Jr., Nancy J. Sherlock, Michael R. U. Clifford and Terrence W. Wilcutt.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

1990

Group 13

“The Hairballs”

This astronaut class took a black cat as their mascot, playing off the unlucky connotations of the number 13, which led to their nickname. Group member Eileen Collins, a former Air Force instructor and test pilot, became the first woman to pilot and then command a space shuttle mission. She commanded STS-93, the mission that deployed NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and STS-114, the return-to-flight mission following the Columbia disaster.

Kneeling, L-R, are Charles J. Precourt, Janice E. Voss, Ellen Ochoa, David A. Wolf, Eileen M. Collins and Daniel W. Bursch. Standing, L-R, are William G. Gregory, Peter J. K. Wisoff, Carl E. Walz, Richard A. Searfoss, Donald A. Thomas, James D. Halsell Jr., Thomas D. Jones, James H. Newman, Kenneth D. Cockrell, Bernard A. Harris Jr., Leroy Chiao, Ronald M. Sega, Susan J. Helms, William S. McArthur Jr., Nancy J. Sherlock, Michael R. U. Clifford and Terrence W. Wilcutt.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Terrence W.

Wilcutt

Daniel W.

Bursch

Michael R.

Clifford

Kenneth D.

Cockrell

Leroy

Chiao

Nancy J.

Currie

Thomas D.

Jones

Bernard A.

Harris, Jr.

William G.

Gregory

James D.

Halsell, Jr.

Ellen

Ochoa

Ronald M.

Sega

Eileen M.

Collins

James H.

Newman

David A.

Wolf

Donald A.

Thomas

Susan J.

Helms

William S.

McArthur, Jr.

Charles J.

Precourt, Jr.

Janice E.

Voss

Richard A.

Searfoss

Carl E.

Walz

Peter J. K.

Wisoff

1990

Group 13

“The Hairballs”

This astronaut class took a black cat as their mascot, playing off the unlucky connotations of the number 13, which led to their nickname. Group member Eileen Collins, a former Air Force instructor and test pilot, became the first woman to pilot and then command a space shuttle mission. She commanded STS-93, the mission that deployed NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and STS-114, the return-to-flight mission following the Columbia disaster.

Kneeling, L-R, are Charles J. Precourt, Janice E. Voss, Ellen Ochoa, David A. Wolf, Eileen M. Collins and Daniel W. Bursch. Standing, L-R, are William G. Gregory, Peter J. K. Wisoff, Carl E. Walz, Richard A. Searfoss, Donald A. Thomas, James D. Halsell Jr., Thomas D. Jones, James H. Newman, Kenneth D. Cockrell, Bernard A. Harris Jr., Leroy Chiao, Ronald M. Sega, Susan J. Helms, William S. McArthur Jr., Nancy J. Sherlock, Michael R. U. Clifford and Terrence W. Wilcutt.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Terrence W.

Wilcutt

Daniel W.

Bursch

Michael R.

Clifford

Kenneth D.

Cockrell

Eileen M.

Collins

Leroy

Chiao

Nancy J.

Currie

Thomas D.

Jones

James H.

Newman

Bernard A.

Harris, Jr.

William G.

Gregory

James D.

Halsell, Jr.

Susan J.

Helms

William S.

McArthur, Jr.

Ellen

Ochoa

Ronald M.

Sega

Donald A.

Thomas

Janice E.

Voss

David A.

Wolf

Charles J.

Precourt, Jr.

Richard A.

Searfoss

Carl E.

Walz

Peter J. K.

Wisoff

1992

Group 14

“The Hogs”

The group’s nickname was inspired by a recurring skit on television’s The Muppet Show titled “Pigs in Space.” With the 14th astronaut class, NASA began including and training international astronauts in every new group. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk and to command the ISS, recorded the first original song on the space station, “Jewel of the Night,” and later became famous for performing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while in orbit. Group member Michael López-Alegría, a Spanish American astronaut, holds the American record for most cumulative time conducting spacewalks, with 67 hours and 10 minutes during 10 spacewalks. (Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev holds the global record, with 82 hours and 22 minutes accumulated during 16 spacewalks.)

Back row, L-R: Charles E. Brady Jr., Jerry M. Linenger, Joseph M. Garneau, Kent V. Rominger, Kevin R. Kregel, Chris A. Hadfield, Miguel López-Alegría and Scott J. Horowitz. Middle row, L-R: Scott E. Parazynski, Richard M. Linnehan, Brent W. Jett Jr., Daniel T. Barry, Steven L. Smith, Michael L. Gernhardt, Joseph R. Tanner and Winston E. Scott. Front row, L-R: Wendy B. Lawrence, Koichi Wakata, Jean-François A. Clervoy, John M. Grunsfeld, Andrew S. W. Thomas, Maurizio Cheli, Catherine G. Coleman and Mary E. Weber.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

International

astronauts

Marc Garneau

First Canadian

in space

1992

Group 14

“The Hogs”

The group’s nickname was inspired by a recurring skit on television’s The Muppet Show titled “Pigs in Space.” With the 14th astronaut class, NASA began including and training international astronauts in every new group. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk and to command the ISS, recorded the first original song on the space station, “Jewel of the Night,” and later became famous for performing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while in orbit. Group member Michael López-Alegría, a Spanish American astronaut, holds the American record for most cumulative time conducting spacewalks, with 67 hours and 10 minutes during 10 spacewalks. (Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev holds the global record, with 82 hours and 22 minutes accumulated during 16 spacewalks.)

Back row, L-R: Charles E. Brady Jr., Jerry M. Linenger, Joseph M. Garneau, Kent V. Rominger, Kevin R. Kregel, Chris A. Hadfield, Miguel López-Alegría and Scott J. Horowitz. Middle row, L-R: Scott E. Parazynski, Richard M. Linnehan, Brent W. Jett Jr., Daniel T. Barry, Steven L. Smith, Michael L. Gernhardt, Joseph R. Tanner and Winston E. Scott. Front row, L-R: Wendy B. Lawrence, Koichi Wakata, Jean-François A. Clervoy, John M. Grunsfeld, Andrew S. W. Thomas, Maurizio Cheli, Catherine G. Coleman and Mary E. Weber.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Daniel T.

Barry

Charles E.

Brady, Jr.

Catherine G.

Coleman

Joseph R.

Tanner

Brent W.

Jett

Kevin R.

Kregel

Wendy B.

Lawrence

Scott E.

Parazynski

Richard M.

Linnehan

Michael L.

Gernhardt

John M.

Grunsfeld

Scott J.

Horowitz

Michael E.

López-Alegría

Kent V.

Rominger

Winston E.

Scott

Steven L.

Smith

Andrew S. W.

Thomas

Mary E.

Weber

Jerry M.

Linenger

International astronauts

Chris A.

Hadfield

Canada

Jean-François A.

Clervoy

France

Marc

Garneau

Canada

Koichi

Wakata

Japan

Maurizio

Cheli

Italy

First Canadian

in space

1992

Group 14

“The Hogs”

The group’s nickname was inspired by a recurring skit on television’s The Muppet Show titled “Pigs in Space.” With the 14th astronaut class, NASA began including and training international astronauts in every new group. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk and to command the ISS, recorded the first original song on the space station, “Jewel of the Night,” and later became famous for performing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while in orbit. Group member Michael López-Alegría, a Spanish American astronaut, holds the American record for most cumulative time conducting spacewalks, with 67 hours and 10 minutes during 10 spacewalks. (Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev holds the global record, with 82 hours and 22 minutes accumulated during 16 spacewalks.)

Back row, L-R: Charles E. Brady Jr., Jerry M. Linenger, Joseph M. Garneau, Kent V. Rominger, Kevin R. Kregel, Chris A. Hadfield, Miguel López-Alegría and Scott J. Horowitz. Middle row, L-R: Scott E. Parazynski, Richard M. Linnehan, Brent W. Jett Jr., Daniel T. Barry, Steven L. Smith, Michael L. Gernhardt, Joseph R. Tanner and Winston E. Scott. Front row, L-R: Wendy B. Lawrence, Koichi Wakata, Jean-François A. Clervoy, John M. Grunsfeld, Andrew S. W. Thomas, Maurizio Cheli, Catherine G. Coleman and Mary E. Weber.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Daniel T.

Barry

Charles E.

Brady, Jr.

Catherine G.

Coleman

Michael L.

Gernhardt

Joseph R.

Tanner

Brent W.

Jett

Kevin R.

Kregel

Wendy B.

Lawrence

Richard M.

Linnehan

Scott E.

Parazynski

John M.

Grunsfeld

Scott J.

Horowitz

Andrew S. W.

Thomas

Mary E.

Weber

Michael E.

López-Alegría

Kent V.

Rominger

Winston E.

Scott

Steven L.

Smith

Jerry M.

Linenger

First Canadian

in space

International astronauts

Koichi

Wakata

Japan

Maurizio

Cheli

Italy

Chris A.

Hadfield

Canada

Jean-François A.

Clervoy

France

Marc

Garneau

Canada

1994

Group 15

“The Flying Escargots”

Originally dubbed the “Slugs” because they were delayed reporting for training, the 15th class changed their name to “The Flying Escargots,” partially as a nod to the two French astronauts included in their group. Jean-Loup Chrétien had previously flown on two Soviet missions, becoming the first French person in space in 1982 and the first non-American and non-Soviet to take a spacewalk in 1988. Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman in space in 1997, operating the robotic arm on the shuttle Columbia. On the same mission, Takao Doi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Back row, L-R: Janet L. Kavandi, Edward T. Lu, Stephen K. Robinson, Robert L. Curbeam Jr., Dominic L. P. Gorie, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Steven W. Lindsey and Jean-Loup J. M. Chrétien. Middle row, L-R: Pamela A. Melroy, Michael P. Anderson, Michael A. C. Tognini, Kathryn P. Hire, Kalpana Chawla, Carlos I. Noriega, Susan L. Kilrain, Takao Doi and Frederick W. Sturckow. Front row, L-R: Jeffrey S. Ashby, Dafydd R. Williams, James F. Reilly II, Altman, Rick D. Husband and Michael J. Bloomfield.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Kalpana

Chawla

First Indian-

American

in space

International

astronauts

1994

Group 15

“The Flying Escargots”

Originally dubbed the “Slugs” because they were delayed reporting for training, the 15th class changed their name to “The Flying Escargots,” partially as a nod to the two French astronauts included in their group. Jean-Loup Chrétien had previously flown on two Soviet missions, becoming the first French person in space in 1982 and the first non-American and non-Soviet to take a spacewalk in 1988. Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman in space in 1997, operating the robotic arm on the shuttle Columbia. On the same mission, Takao Doi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Back row, L-R: Janet L. Kavandi, Edward T. Lu, Stephen K. Robinson, Robert L. Curbeam Jr., Dominic L. P. Gorie, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Steven W. Lindsey and Jean-Loup J. M. Chrétien. Middle row, L-R: Pamela A. Melroy, Michael P. Anderson, Michael A. C. Tognini, Kathryn P. Hire, Kalpana Chawla, Carlos I. Noriega, Susan L. Kilrain, Takao Doi and Frederick W. Sturckow. Front row, L-R: Jeffrey S. Ashby, Dafydd R. Williams, James F. Reilly II, Altman, Rick D. Husband and Michael J. Bloomfield.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Scott D.

Altman

Michael P.

Anderson

Jeffrey S.

Ashby

Kalpana

Chawla

Edward T.

Lu

Michael J.

Bloomfield

Robert L.

Curbeam, Jr.

Joe F.

Edwards, Jr.

James F.

Reilly

Stephen K.

Robinson

First Indian-

American

in space

Dominic L.

Gorie

Kathryn P.

Hire

Rick D.

Husband

Janet L.

Kavandi

Susan L.

Kilrain

Steven W.

Lindsey

Pamela A.

Melroy

Carlos I.

Noriega

Frederick W.

Sturckow

International astronauts

Jean-Loup

Chrétien

France

Michel A.

Tognini

France

Takao

Doi

Japan

Dafydd R.

Williams

Canada

1994

Group 15

“The Flying Escargots”

Originally dubbed the “Slugs” because they were delayed reporting for training, the 15th class changed their name to “The Flying Escargots,” partially as a nod to the two French astronauts included in their group. Jean-Loup Chrétien had previously flown on two Soviet missions, becoming the first French person in space in 1982 and the first non-American and non-Soviet to take a spacewalk in 1988. Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman in space in 1997, operating the robotic arm on the shuttle Columbia. On the same mission, Takao Doi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

Back row, L-R: Janet L. Kavandi, Edward T. Lu, Stephen K. Robinson, Robert L. Curbeam Jr., Dominic L. P. Gorie, Joe F. Edwards Jr., Steven W. Lindsey and Jean-Loup J. M. Chrétien. Middle row, L-R: Pamela A. Melroy, Michael P. Anderson, Michael A. C. Tognini, Kathryn P. Hire, Kalpana Chawla, Carlos I. Noriega, Susan L. Kilrain, Takao Doi and Frederick W. Sturckow. Front row, L-R: Jeffrey S. Ashby, Dafydd R. Williams, James F. Reilly II, Altman, Rick D. Husband and Michael J. Bloomfield.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Scott D.

Altman

Michael P.

Anderson

Jeffrey S.

Ashby

Michael J.

Bloomfield

Kalpana

Chawla

Edward T.

Lu

James F.

Reilly

Stephen K.

Robinson

First Indian-

American

in space

Robert L.

Curbeam, Jr.

Joe F.

Edwards, Jr.

Dominic L.

Gorie

Kathryn P.

Hire

Rick D.

Husband

Janet L.

Kavandi

Susan L.

Kilrain

Steven W.

Lindsey

Pamela A.

Melroy

Carlos I.

Noriega

Frederick W.

Sturckow

International astronauts

Jean-Loup

Chrétien

France

Michel A.

Tognini

France

Takao

Doi

Japan

Dafydd R.

Williams

Canada

1996

Group 16

“The Sardines”

The 44 astronauts in this group represent the largest NASA astronaut class to date, earning them the nickname “The Sardines” because they would be packed into crowded training sessions. The group included the first twins selected as astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly. Scott would go on to spend nearly a full year aboard the ISS while Mark stayed on Earth, offering scientists a unique opportunity to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the ISS, holds the American record for most cumulative days in space, with 665. (Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has the global record, with 879 days.)

Back row, L-R: Christer Fuglesang, John Herrington, Steve MacLean, Peggy Whitson, Stephen Frick, Duane Carey, Daniel Tani, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Jeffrey Williams and Donald Pettit. Second to back row, L-R: Philippe Perrin, Daniel Burbank, Michael Massimino, Lee Morin, Piers Sellers, John Phillips, Richard Mastraccio, Christopher Loria, Paul Lockhart, Charles Hobaugh and William McCool. Second to front row, L-R: Pedro Duque, Soichi Noguchi, Mamoru Mohri, Gerhard Thiele, Mark Polansky, Sandra Magnus, Paul Richards, Yvonne Cagle, James Kelly, Patrick Forrester and David Brown. Front row, L-R: Umberto Guidoni, Edward Fincke, Stephanie Wilson, Julie Payette, Lisa Nowak, Fernando Caldeiro, Mark Kelly, Laurel Clark, Rex Walheim, Scott Kelly, Joan Higginbotham and Charles Camarda.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Scott J. Kelly

and

Mark E. Kelly

First twins

selected as

astronauts

Peggy Whitson

American with

most hours

in space

International

astronauts

1996

Group 16

“The Sardines”

The 44 astronauts in this group represent the largest NASA astronaut class to date, earning them the nickname “The Sardines” because they would be packed into crowded training sessions. The group included the first twins selected as astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly. Scott would go on to spend nearly a full year aboard the ISS while Mark stayed on Earth, offering scientists a unique opportunity to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the ISS, holds the American record for most cumulative days in space, with 665. (Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has the global record, with 879 days.)

Back row, L-R: Christer Fuglesang, John Herrington, Steve MacLean, Peggy Whitson, Stephen Frick, Duane Carey, Daniel Tani, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Jeffrey Williams and Donald Pettit. Second to back row, L-R: Philippe Perrin, Daniel Burbank, Michael Massimino, Lee Morin, Piers Sellers, John Phillips, Richard Mastraccio, Christopher Loria, Paul Lockhart, Charles Hobaugh and William McCool. Second to front row, L-R: Pedro Duque, Soichi Noguchi, Mamoru Mohri, Gerhard Thiele, Mark Polansky, Sandra Magnus, Paul Richards, Yvonne Cagle, James Kelly, Patrick Forrester and David Brown. Front row, L-R: Umberto Guidoni, Edward Fincke, Stephanie Wilson, Julie Payette, Lisa Nowak, Fernando Caldeiro, Mark Kelly, Laurel Clark, Rex Walheim, Scott Kelly, Joan Higginbotham and Charles Camarda.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

John B.

Herrington

Daniel C.

Burbank

Fernando (Frank)

Caldeiro

Duane G.

Carey

David M.

Brown

Charles J.

Camarda

Laurel B.

Clark

Yvonne D.

Cagle

Charles O.

Hobaugh

E. Michael

Fincke

Patrick G.

Forrester

Stephen N.

Frick

Sandra H.

Magnus

Michael J.

Massimino

Lee M.

Morin

Scott J.

Kelly

Mark E.

Kelly

Piers J.

Sellers

Joan E.

Higginbotham

James M.

Kelly

Donald R.

Pettit

John L.

Phillips

Jeffrey N.

Williams

Paul S.

Lockhart

Christopher J.

Loria

Richard A.

Mastracchio

Peggy A.

Whitson

First twins

selected as

astronauts

William C.

McCool

Lisa M.

Nowak

Mark L.

Polansky

American

with most

hours in space

Paul W.

Richards

Heidemarie M.

Stefanyshyn-Piper

Daniel M.

Tani

Rex J.

Walheim

Stephanie D.

Wilson

International astronauts

Pedro F.

Duque

Spain

Julie

Payette

Canada

Christer

Fugelsang

Sweden

Umberto

Guidoni

Italy

Steven G.

MacLean

Canada

Philippe

Perrin

France

Soichi

Noguchi

Japan

Gerhard P.

Thiele

Germany

Mamoru

Mohri

Japan

1996

Group 16

“The Sardines”

The 44 astronauts in this group represent the largest NASA astronaut class to date, earning them the nickname “The Sardines” because they would be packed into crowded training sessions. The group included the first twins selected as astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly. Scott would go on to spend nearly a full year aboard the ISS while Mark stayed on Earth, offering scientists a unique opportunity to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body. Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the ISS, holds the American record for most cumulative days in space, with 665. (Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has the global record, with 879 days.)

Back row, L-R: Christer Fuglesang, John Herrington, Steve MacLean, Peggy Whitson, Stephen Frick, Duane Carey, Daniel Tani, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Jeffrey Williams and Donald Pettit. Second to back row, L-R: Philippe Perrin, Daniel Burbank, Michael Massimino, Lee Morin, Piers Sellers, John Phillips, Richard Mastraccio, Christopher Loria, Paul Lockhart, Charles Hobaugh and William McCool. Second to front row, L-R: Pedro Duque, Soichi Noguchi, Mamoru Mohri, Gerhard Thiele, Mark Polansky, Sandra Magnus, Paul Richards, Yvonne Cagle, James Kelly, Patrick Forrester and David Brown. Front row, L-R: Umberto Guidoni, Edward Fincke, Stephanie Wilson, Julie Payette, Lisa Nowak, Fernando Caldeiro, Mark Kelly, Laurel Clark, Rex Walheim, Scott Kelly, Joan Higginbotham and Charles Camarda.

Show Caption Hide Caption

Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

John B.

Herrington

Charles O.

Hobaugh

Daniel C.

Burbank

Fernando (Frank)

Caldeiro

Duane G.

Carey

E. Michael

Fincke

David M.

Brown

Charles J.

Camarda

Laurel B.

Clark

Sandra H.

Magnus

Yvonne D.

Cagle

Scott J.

Kelly

Jeffrey N.

Williams

Patrick G.

Forrester

Stephen N.

Frick

Joan E.

Higginbotham

James M.

Kelly

Michael J.

Massimino

Lee M.

Morin

Donald R.

Pettit

John L.

Phillips

Mark E.

Kelly

Paul S.

Lockhart

Christopher J.

Loria

Richard A.

Mastracchio

Piers J.

Sellers

Peggy A.

Whitson

First twins

selected as

astronauts

American

with most

hours in space

William C.

McCool

Lisa M.

Nowak

Mark L.

Polansky

Paul W.

Richards

Heidemarie M.

Stefanyshyn-Piper

Daniel M.

Tani

Rex J.

Walheim

Stephanie D.

Wilson

International astronauts

Pedro F.

Duque

Spain

Soichi

Noguchi

Japan

Julie

Payette

Canada

Christer

Fugelsang

Sweden

Umberto

Guidoni

Italy

Steven G.

MacLean

Canada

Philippe

Perrin

France

Gerhard P.

Thiele

Germany

Mamoru

Mohri

Japan

1998

Group 17

“The Penguins”

This astronaut class got nicknamed “The Penguins” as a flightless-bird joke, because they would not fly the shuttle for some time given the large group that preceded them. Still, its members hold a number of distinctions. Garrett Reisman was the first Jewish crew member of the ISS; Marcos Pontes was the first Brazilian in space; Sunita Williams ran the first marathon in space; Robert Thirsk was the first to receive a degree in space (an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary); and Gregory Chamitoff filmed the first magic show in space.

Front row, L-R: Bjarni V. Tryggvason, Douglas H. Wheelock, Gregory H. Johnson, Patricia C. Hilliard, Marcos Pontes, Garrett E. Reisman, Barbara R. Morgan, Leopold Eyharts, Tracy E. Caldwell and Sunita L. Williams. Middle row: Timothy J. Creamer, Roberto Vittori, Lee J. Archambault, William A. Oefelein, Gregory C. Johnson, Neil W. Woodward, Michael J. Foreman, Christopher J. Ferguson, George D. Zamka and Kenneth T. Ham. Back row, L-R: Paolo Nespoli, Stanley G. Love, Hans Schlegel, John D. Olivas, Leland D. Melvin, Michael E. Fossum, Alan G. Poindexter, Gregory E. Chamitoff, Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Steven R. Swanson and Clayton C. Anderson.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Marcos C.

Pontes

First Brazilian in space

International

astronauts

1998

Group 17

“The Penguins”

This astronaut class got nicknamed “The Penguins” as a flightless-bird joke, because they would not fly the shuttle for some time given the large group that preceded them. Still, its members hold a number of distinctions. Garrett Reisman was the first Jewish crew member of the ISS; Marcos Pontes was the first Brazilian in space; Sunita Williams ran the first marathon in space; Robert Thirsk was the first to receive a degree in space (an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary); and Gregory Chamitoff filmed the first magic show in space.

Front row, L-R: Bjarni V. Tryggvason, Douglas H. Wheelock, Gregory H. Johnson, Patricia C. Hilliard, Marcos Pontes, Garrett E. Reisman, Barbara R. Morgan, Leopold Eyharts, Tracy E. Caldwell and Sunita L. Williams. Middle row: Timothy J. Creamer, Roberto Vittori, Lee J. Archambault, William A. Oefelein, Gregory C. Johnson, Neil W. Woodward, Michael J. Foreman, Christopher J. Ferguson, George D. Zamka and Kenneth T. Ham. Back row, L-R: Paolo Nespoli, Stanley G. Love, Hans Schlegel, John D. Olivas, Leland D. Melvin, Michael E. Fossum, Alan G. Poindexter, Gregory E. Chamitoff, Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Steven R. Swanson and Clayton C. Anderson.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Gregory C.

Johnson

Clayton C.

Anderson

Lee J.

Archambault

Timothy J.

Creamer

Tracy E.

Caldwell

Gregory E.

Chamitoff

Stanley G.

Love

Patricia Hilliard

Robertson

Christopher J.

Ferguson

Michael J.

Foreman

Michael E.

Fossum

Nicholas J. M.

Patrick

Garrett E.

Reisman

John D.

Olivas

Barbara R.

Morgan

Kenneth T.

Ham

Gregory H.

Johnson

Leland D.

Melvin

Steven R.

Swanson

William A.

Oefelein

Alan G.

Poindexter

Douglas H.

Wheelock

Sunita L.

Williams

Neil W.

Woodward, III

George D.

Zamka

International astronauts

Léopold

Eyharts

France

Paolo A.

Nespoli

Italy

Hans W.

Schlegel

Germany

Bjarni V.

Tryggvason

Canada

Robert B.

Thirsk

Canada

Marcos C.

Pontes

Brazil

First Brazilian in space

Roberto

Vittori

Italy

1998

Group 17

“The Penguins”

This astronaut class got nicknamed “The Penguins” as a flightless-bird joke, because they would not fly the shuttle for some time given the large group that preceded them. Still, its members hold a number of distinctions. Garrett Reisman was the first Jewish crew member of the ISS; Marcos Pontes was the first Brazilian in space; Sunita Williams ran the first marathon in space; Robert Thirsk was the first to receive a degree in space (an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary); and Gregory Chamitoff filmed the first magic show in space.

Front row, L-R: Bjarni V. Tryggvason, Douglas H. Wheelock, Gregory H. Johnson, Patricia C. Hilliard, Marcos Pontes, Garrett E. Reisman, Barbara R. Morgan, Leopold Eyharts, Tracy E. Caldwell and Sunita L. Williams. Middle row: Timothy J. Creamer, Roberto Vittori, Lee J. Archambault, William A. Oefelein, Gregory C. Johnson, Neil W. Woodward, Michael J. Foreman, Christopher J. Ferguson, George D. Zamka and Kenneth T. Ham. Back row, L-R: Paolo Nespoli, Stanley G. Love, Hans Schlegel, John D. Olivas, Leland D. Melvin, Michael E. Fossum, Alan G. Poindexter, Gregory E. Chamitoff, Nicholas J. M. Patrick, Steven R. Swanson and Clayton C. Anderson.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Gregory C.

Johnson

Barbara R.

Morgan

Clayton C.

Anderson

Lee J.

Archambault

Timothy J.

Creamer

Christopher J.

Ferguson

Tracy E.

Caldwell

Gregory E.

Chamitoff

Stanley G.

Love

John D.

Olivas

Patricia Hilliard

Robertson

Michael J.

Foreman

Michael E.

Fossum

Kenneth T.

Ham

Gregory H.

Johnson

Nicholas J. M.

Patrick

Garrett E.

Reisman

Steven R.

Swanson

Leland D.

Melvin

William A.

Oefelein

Alan G.

Poindexter

Douglas H.

Wheelock

Sunita L.

Williams

Neil W.

Woodward, III

George D.

Zamka

First Brazilian in space

International astronauts

Léopold

Eyharts

France

Marcos C.

Pontes

Brazil

Paolo A.

Nespoli

Italy

Hans W.

Schlegel

Germany

Bjarni V.

Tryggvason

Canada

Robert B.

Thirsk

Canada

Roberto

Vittori

Italy

2000

Group 18

“The Bugs”

“The Bugs,” selected in 2000, were nicknamed in reference to the Y2K computer bug that some people worried would wreak havoc as the world entered the new millennium. The group included Stephen Bowen, the only person to fly on consecutive shuttle missions. It also included Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space, who happened to be on board the ISS in June 2013 for the 50th anniversary of the first woman to go to space, Valentina Tereshkova. Two astronauts in this group, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, would go on to become the first people to fly a commercially built spacecraft, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, in May 2020.

Back row, L-R: Stephen G. Bowen, Michael T. Good, Barry E. Wilmore, Douglas G. Hurley, Dominic A. Antonelli and Ronald J. Garan Jr.. Middle row, L-R: Terry W. Virts Jr., Benjamin A. Drew Jr., Karen L. Nyberg, Katherine M. McArthur, Michael R. Barratt and Andrew J. Feustel. Front row, L-R: Robert L. Behnken, Nicole M. P. Stott, Kevin A. Ford, Eric A. Boe and Timothy L. Kopra.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

2000

Group 18

“The Bugs”

“The Bugs,” selected in 2000, were nicknamed in reference to the Y2K computer bug that some people worried would wreak havoc as the world entered the new millennium. The group included Stephen Bowen, the only person to fly on consecutive shuttle missions. It also included Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space, who happened to be on board the ISS in June 2013 for the 50th anniversary of the first woman to go to space, Valentina Tereshkova. Two astronauts in this group, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, would go on to become the first people to fly a commercially built spacecraft, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, in May 2020.

Back row, L-R: Stephen G. Bowen, Michael T. Good, Barry E. Wilmore, Douglas G. Hurley, Dominic A. Antonelli and Ronald J. Garan Jr.. Middle row, L-R: Terry W. Virts Jr., Benjamin A. Drew Jr., Karen L. Nyberg, Katherine M. McArthur, Michael R. Barratt and Andrew J. Feustel. Front row, L-R: Robert L. Behnken, Nicole M. P. Stott, Kevin A. Ford, Eric A. Boe and Timothy L. Kopra.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Douglas G.

Hurley

Dominic A.

Antonelli

Robert L.

Behnken

Eric A.

Boe

Andrew J.

Feustel

Kevin A.

Ford

Michael R.

Barratt

Stephen G.

Bowen

K. Megan

McArthur

Karen L.

Nyberg

Alvin B.

Drew

Ronald J.

Garan, Jr.

Nicole P.

Stott

Michael T.

Good

Timothy L.

Kopra

Terry W.

Virts, Jr.

Barry E.

Wilmore

2000

Group 18

“The Bugs”

“The Bugs,” selected in 2000, were nicknamed in reference to the Y2K computer bug that some people worried would wreak havoc as the world entered the new millennium. The group included Stephen Bowen, the only person to fly on consecutive shuttle missions. It also included Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space, who happened to be on board the ISS in June 2013 for the 50th anniversary of the first woman to go to space, Valentina Tereshkova. Two astronauts in this group, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, would go on to become the first people to fly a commercially built spacecraft, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, in May 2020.

Back row, L-R: Stephen G. Bowen, Michael T. Good, Barry E. Wilmore, Douglas G. Hurley, Dominic A. Antonelli and Ronald J. Garan Jr.. Middle row, L-R: Terry W. Virts Jr., Benjamin A. Drew Jr., Karen L. Nyberg, Katherine M. McArthur, Michael R. Barratt and Andrew J. Feustel. Front row, L-R: Robert L. Behnken, Nicole M. P. Stott, Kevin A. Ford, Eric A. Boe and Timothy L. Kopra.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Douglas G.

Hurley

Dominic A.

Antonelli

Robert L.

Behnken

Eric A.

Boe

Stephen G.

Bowen

Andrew J.

Feustel

Kevin A.

Ford

K. Megan

McArthur

Karen L.

Nyberg

Michael R.

Barratt

Alvin B.

Drew

Ronald J.

Garan, Jr.

Michael T.

Good

Timothy L.

Kopra

Nicole P.

Stott

Terry W.

Virts, Jr.

Barry E.

Wilmore

2004

Group 19

“The Peacocks”

Nicknamed by the previous cohort, “The Peacocks” were the last astronauts to fly the space shuttle and the first to be selected after the Columbia disaster. Joseph M. Acaba, who flew on a mission to deliver the final solar arrays to the ISS, was the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be selected as a NASA astronaut. In 2009, Randolph Bresnik became the second person to have a child born while he was in space. (The first Austrian astronaut, Franz Viehböck, was in space in 1991 when his daughter was born.)

Back row, L-R: Robert L. Satcher Jr., Christopher J. Cassidy, Richard R. Arnold II and Robert S. Kimbrough. Front row, L-R: Jose M. Hernandez, Thomas H. Marshburn, Joseph M. Acaba, Dorothy M. Metcalf-Lindenburger, James P. Dutton Jr. and Shannon Walker. Not pictured is Randolph J. Bresnik

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

International

astronauts

2004

Group 19

“The Peacocks”

Nicknamed by the previous cohort, “The Peacocks” were the last astronauts to fly the space shuttle and the first to be selected after the Columbia disaster. Joseph M. Acaba, who flew on a mission to deliver the final solar arrays to the ISS, was the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be selected as a NASA astronaut. In 2009, Randolph Bresnik became the second person to have a child born while he was in space. (The first Austrian astronaut, Franz Viehböck, was in space in 1991 when his daughter was born.)

Back row, L-R: Robert L. Satcher Jr., Christopher J. Cassidy, Richard R. Arnold II and Robert S. Kimbrough. Front row, L-R: Jose M. Hernandez, Thomas H. Marshburn, Joseph M. Acaba, Dorothy M. Metcalf-Lindenburger, James P. Dutton Jr. and Shannon Walker. Not pictured is Randolph J. Bresnik

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Joseph M.

Acaba

Richard R.

Arnold, II

Randolph J.

Bresnik

Thomas H.

Marshburn

Robert L.

Satcher

Shannon

Walker

Christopher J.

Cassidy

James P.

Dutton

Jose M.

Hernandez

Robert S.

Kimbrough

Dorothy M.

Metcalf-

Lindenburger

International astronauts

Akihiko

Hoshide

Japan

Naoko

Yamazaki

Japan

Satoshi

Furukawa

Japan

2004

Group 19

“The Peacocks”

Nicknamed by the previous cohort, “The Peacocks” were the last astronauts to fly the space shuttle and the first to be selected after the Columbia disaster. Joseph M. Acaba, who flew on a mission to deliver the final solar arrays to the ISS, was the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to be selected as a NASA astronaut. In 2009, Randolph Bresnik became the second person to have a child born while he was in space. (The first Austrian astronaut, Franz Viehböck, was in space in 1991 when his daughter was born.)

Back row, L-R: Robert L. Satcher Jr., Christopher J. Cassidy, Richard R. Arnold II and Robert S. Kimbrough. Front row, L-R: Jose M. Hernandez, Thomas H. Marshburn, Joseph M. Acaba, Dorothy M. Metcalf-Lindenburger, James P. Dutton Jr. and Shannon Walker. Not pictured is Randolph J. Bresnik

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Joseph M.

Acaba

Richard R.

Arnold, II

Randolph J.

Bresnik

Christopher J.

Cassidy

Thomas H.

Marshburn

Robert L.

Satcher

Shannon

Walker

James P.

Dutton

Jose M.

Hernandez

Robert S.

Kimbrough

Dorothy M.

Metcalf-

Lindenburger

International astronauts

Akihiko

Hoshide

Japan

Naoko

Yamazaki

Japan

Satoshi

Furukawa

Japan

2009

Group 20

“The Chumps”

The 14 astronauts in this group initially selected the nickname “The Chimps” for themselves, but the previous group modified it to “The Chumps.” The group includes Jack Fischer, who in 2017 flew with Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin on the first mission to dock with the ISS within just six hours after launch, rather than the standard two-day orbital rendezvous. Group member Kathleen Rubins was the first to sequence DNA in space, and Kjell N. Lindgren was the first to play bagpipes on the space station.

Front row, L-R: Jeremy Hansen, Scott D. Tingle, Michael S. Hopkins, Gregory R. (Reid) Wiseman and Mark T. Vande Hei. Middle row, L-R: Jack D. Fischer, Serena M. Aunon, Kathleen Rubins and Jeanette J. Epps. Back row, L-R: David Saint-Jacques, Takuya Onishi, Norishige Kanai, Kimiya Yui and Kjell N. Lindgren.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

International

astronauts

2009

Group 20

“The Chumps”

The 14 astronauts in this group initially selected the nickname “The Chimps” for themselves, but the previous group modified it to “The Chumps.” The group includes Jack Fischer, who in 2017 flew with Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin on the first mission to dock with the ISS within just six hours after launch, rather than the standard two-day orbital rendezvous. Group member Kathleen Rubins was the first to sequence DNA in space, and Kjell N. Lindgren was the first to play bagpipes on the space station.

Front row, L-R: Jeremy Hansen, Scott D. Tingle, Michael S. Hopkins, Gregory R. (Reid) Wiseman and Mark T. Vande Hei. Middle row, L-R: Jack D. Fischer, Serena M. Aunon, Kathleen Rubins and Jeanette J. Epps. Back row, L-R: David Saint-Jacques, Takuya Onishi, Norishige Kanai, Kimiya Yui and Kjell N. Lindgren.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Jack D.

Fischer

Michael S.

Hopkins

Scott D.

Tingle

Jeanette J.

Epps

Kathleen

Rubins

Serena M.

Auñón-

Chancellor

Mark T.

Vande Hei

Gregory R.

Wiseman

Kjell N.

Lindgren

David

Saint-Jacques

International astronauts

Tayuka

Onishi

Japan

Jeremy

Hansen

Canada

Norishige

Kanai

Japan

Kimiya

Yui

Japan

2009

Group 20

“The Chumps”

The 14 astronauts in this group initially selected the nickname “The Chimps” for themselves, but the previous group modified it to “The Chumps.” The group includes Jack Fischer, who in 2017 flew with Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin on the first mission to dock with the ISS within just six hours after launch, rather than the standard two-day orbital rendezvous. Group member Kathleen Rubins was the first to sequence DNA in space, and Kjell N. Lindgren was the first to play bagpipes on the space station.

Front row, L-R: Jeremy Hansen, Scott D. Tingle, Michael S. Hopkins, Gregory R. (Reid) Wiseman and Mark T. Vande Hei. Middle row, L-R: Jack D. Fischer, Serena M. Aunon, Kathleen Rubins and Jeanette J. Epps. Back row, L-R: David Saint-Jacques, Takuya Onishi, Norishige Kanai, Kimiya Yui and Kjell N. Lindgren.

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Bachelor’s

Master’s

Ph.D/Sc.D

M.D.

Jack D.

Fischer

Michael S.

Hopkins

Scott D.

Tingle

Jeanette J.

Epps

Kathleen

Rubins

Serena M.

Auñón-

Chancellor

Mark T.

Vande Hei

Gregory R.

Wiseman

Kjell N.

Lindgren

David

Saint-Jacques

International astronauts