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NASA chooses 4 women, 4 men as new astronauts for 2013


NASA has successfully tested a nuclear-powered space probe that could explore more deeply into the universe.


Joe Raedle

Some people dream of being astronauts when they grow up, and others actually do it.

These eight new recruits did, and are now part of NASA's 2013 graduating class.

The four men and four women went through a thorough screening process and are now on track to be sent into space.

Lt. Comm. Josh Cassada, Lt. Comm. Victor Glover, Lt. Col. Nick Hague, Christina Hammock, Maj. Nicole Aunapu Mann, Maj. Anne McClain, Maj. Andrew Morgan, and Jessica Mei are the new graduates, which include the highest percentage of women ever for a NASA graduating class.

The road was long for some of the new recruits and their paths could not be more different.

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“This has been a lifelong dream of mine, and it doesn’t seem like too long ago that I was growing up on a farm,” Hague, an Air Force officer, told NBC News. "I submitted my first application a little over 10 years ago. … My wife and our two boys have been riding that emotional roller coaster over that decade.

"I’m just ready to get started with training.”

The rigors are not over, however. The eight will now spend two more years in training before they are ready to be on active-duty.

ABC News said astronaut salaries range from about $65,000 to $100,000 per year, while those in the military still get their pay for their active-duty status.

NASA currently has 47 astronauts, ABC said.

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