NASA receives record number of astronaut applications

Posted at 9:03 AM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 09:03:06-05

NASA announced Friday that it had received a record 18,300 applications for its Astronaut Candidate Training Program.

That’s nearly three times the number the agency got in 2012 – the most recent class.

Before that, the previous record was set in 1978 when the agency got 8,000 applications.

Of the thousands who apply, only between 8 and 14 people will be chosen.

Since 1959, there have only been 338 astronauts.

Once the final candidates have been selected, they will undergo two years of basic training on things from spacewalking to learning to speak Russian.

Candidates who graduate will eventually be assigned to one of four spacecraft.

They are the International Space Station, NASA’s Orion spacecraft for deep space exploration, or the American-made commercial crew spacecraft from Boeing or SpaceX.