NASA Introduces New Astronaut Class

A SpaceX Dragon approaches the International Space Station on Monday, June 5, 2017, making an unprecedented second trip to the orbiting outpost. The Dragon supply ship, recycled following a 2014 flight, was launched from Florida on Saturday. (NASA TV via AP)

By Bill O’Neil

NASA’s newest class of Astronauts received a personal welcome from Vice President Mike Pence in Houston Wednesday Afternoon.

“These are 12 men and women whose personal excellence and whose personal courage will carry our nation to even greater heights of discovery” the Vice President said at Johnson Space Center, making a commitment to those five women and seven men who were chosen from a pool of more than 18-thousand applicants.

“Your President is proud of you and so am I… and President Donald Trump is firmly committed to NASA’s noble mission… leading America in space” Pence said, adding “NASA will have the resources and support you need to continue to make history.”

Among those in NASA’s new class is Texan Loral O’Hara, who grew up not far from the Johnson Space Center.

“I was able to visit often… and my second grade class even got to grow tomato class that had flown on the space shuttle” O’Hara said.

“Those early experiences really hooked me, and are a big part of what ignited the dream to be an astronaut” she said.

In welcoming the new astronaut class, the Vice President said President Trump will soon order the re-establishment of the National Space Council, which will be chaired by Pence.

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