NASA claims record number of astronaut applications
In this Saturday, May 11, 2013 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn, not pictured, perform a space walk to inspect and replace a pump controller box on the International Space Station after an ammonia coolant leak was discovered. (AP Photo/NASA)
Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Published Friday, February 19, 2016 1:52PM EST
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space travel never looked so good.
NASA announced Friday it received a record number of applicants -- some 18,300 -- for its next astronaut class. That's more than double the previous record of 8,000 for the first space shuttle astronaut class in 1978. This time, NASA hit social media hard to promote the openings.
The odds of getting picked are small; only eight to 14 Americans will be chosen. NASA expects it will take 1 1/2 years to whittle down the list.
Like the eight-member Class of 2013, the future astronauts will train to fly to the International Space Station on capsules under development by SpaceX and Boeing, as well as on NASA's Orion spacecraft intended for deep-space exploration.
The two-month application period closed Thursday.