NASA announced this Tuesday, December 7, 10 astronaut candidates who were selected from more than 12,000 people who applied for a vacancy to go to space.
Most of those chosen come from different branches of the Army and all have a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
One of the names that attracted the most attention was that of Christina Birch, a renowned professional cyclist who has represented the United States on several occasions.
Birch, 35, has specialized in track cycling, cyclocross and gravel. As an athlete, he has 11 national championships and has won the gold medal in two Pan American Games.
Outside of competitions, the young woman obtained a doctorate in biological engineering from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and has also worked as an academic.
The athlete found out at the end of October of the appointment by NASA and moved with her family to Texas to participate in tests and training to go to space.
According to NASA, once this training period is over, astronauts may be assigned to a series of missions, including “research on board the space station, launching from American soil in spacecraft built by commercial companies, as well as missions to destinations such as the Moon on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket ”.
Birch and the rest of the astronaut candidates will begin work at the Johnson Space Center in January 2022 to spend two years in training.