A Southern California man is one of eight astronaut candidates selected and named by NASA to train for future missions to a nearby asteroid, and to Mars.
One of the eight great space hopes named for the new class is 37-year-old Victor J. Glover from Pomona, CA.
The Navy lieutenant commander — working as a Navy legislative fellow in Washington, D.C. — is an F/A-18 pilot with degrees from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He also graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
You can learn more about the new class of candidates and what it's like to be chosen from this "hangout" hosted by NASA:
VIDEO: Google+ Hangout about the new candidates [via NASA]
SELECTION & EXPECTATION
Eight candidates were chosen from a pool of more than 6,o00 applicants, says NASA, the second largest number they've ever received:
The 2013 astronaut candidate class comes from the second largest number of applications NASA has received -- more than 6,000. Half of the selectees are women, making this the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected for a class. The group will receive a wide array of technical training at space centers and remote locations around the globe to prepare for missions to low-Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars.
SPACE CAMP: THE NEW CLASS [via NASA]
- Josh A. Cassada, Ph.D., 39, is originally from White Bear Lake, Minn. Cassada is a former naval aviator who holds an undergraduate degree from Albion College, and advanced degrees from the University of Rochester, N.Y. Cassada is a physicist by training and currently is serving as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Quantum Opus.
- Victor J. Glover, 37, Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy, hails from Pomona, Calif., and Prosper, Texas. He is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards, Calif. Glover holds degrees from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Air University and the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. He currently is serving as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Congress.
- Tyler N. (Nick) Hague, 37, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force, calls Hoxie, Kan., home. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards, Calif. Hague currently is supporting the Department of Defense as Deputy Chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.
- Christina M. Hammock, 34, calls Jacksonville, N.C., home. Hammock holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. She currently is serving as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Station Chief in American Samoa.
- Nicole Aunapu Mann, 35, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, originally is from Penngrove, Calif. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Stanford University and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Md. Mann is an F/A 18 pilot, currently serving as an Integrated Product Team Lead at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.
- Anne C. McClain, 34, Major, U.S. Army, lists her hometown as Spokane, Wash. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; the University of Bath and the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. McClain is an OH-58 helicopter pilot, and a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.
- Jessica U. Meir, Ph.D., 35, is from Caribou, Maine. She is a graduate of Brown University, has an advanced degree from the International Space University, and earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Meir currently is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
- Andrew R. Morgan, M.D., 37, Major, U.S. Army, considers New Castle, Pa., home. Morgan is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and earned a doctorate of medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md. He has experience as an emergency physician and flight surgeon for the Army special operations community, and currently is completing a sports medicine fellowship.
This story has been updated.