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NASA picks G-Prep grad for astronaut corps

UPDATED: Mon., June 17, 2013, 3:16 p.m.

Anne C. McClain, 34, of Spokane, is a member of NASA's 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class.  (NASA)
Anne C. McClain, 34, of Spokane, is a member of NASA's 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class. (NASA)

A Gonzaga Prep graduate now serving in the U.S. Army is among America’s newest astronauts in training.

Anne C. McClain, 34, is one of eight recruits selected by NASA, the space agency announced today. More than 6,100 people applied for the eight positions.

“This year we have selected eight highly qualified individuals who have demonstrated impressive strengths academically, operationally, and physically” Janet Kavandi, director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center, said in prepared remarks. “They have diverse backgrounds and skill sets that will contribute greatly to the existing astronaut corps.”

The new astronauts will be stationed across the globe and will prepare for missions that could include trips to Mars or distant asteroids.

McClain is a 1997 Gonzaga Prep graduate who won appointment to U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She also has degrees from the University of Bath and the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. Additionally, she’s a certified OH-58 helicopter pilot, and a recent graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

Joining McClain as new astronaut trainees are Josh A. Cassada, Ph. D., 39, a former naval aviator now working in high-tech; Victor J. U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Glover, 37, a fighter pilot; USAF Lt. Col. Tyler N. Hague, 37, test pilot; Christina M. Hammock, 34, a scientist and NOAA station chief in American Samoa; USMC Major Nicole Aunapu Mann, 35, test pilot; Jessica U. Meir, Ph.D., 35, assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School; and U.S. Army Major Andrew R. Morgan, 37, an emergency physician and flight surgeon.

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