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NASA Opens Astronaut Applications as Newest Class Graduates

The newest class of NASA astronauts celebrate at their graduation ceremony at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA newest class of astronauts, selected in 2021, graduate during a ceremony on March 5, 2024, at the at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Credit: NASA

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Editor’s note: This release was updated March 27, 2024, to reflect an extension in the astronaut application deadline.

NASA welcomed its newest class of next generation Artemis astronauts in a Tuesday ceremony at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The 10 astronaut graduates now are eligible for flight assignments. The agency also announced the opening for the next round of NASA astronaut applications.

“Congratulations to the newest class of NASA astronauts! We are excited to have a new and diverse set of explorers ready to expand humanity’s reach,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Astronauts are pioneers who will help us embark on this new era of exploration, and we need more adventurers ready to join the ranks to explore the cosmos, including future missions to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond.”

Selected for training in 2021, the astronaut graduates were chosen from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants and successfully completed more than two years of required basic training, including spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, and more.

The graduates may be assigned to missions destined for the International Space Station, future commercial space stations, and Artemis campaign missions to the Moon in preparation for Mars.

“Congratulations to NASA and the astronaut graduates,” said U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja. “By partnering with OPM, NASA employed an automated and streamlined hiring process to screen applicants for these prestigious roles. OPM is thrilled to continue supporting NASA experts to design and implement their hiring methods.”

“It’s an incredible time to be an astronaut with a variety of spacecraft to fly and more destinations to explore,” said Chief Astronaut Joe Acaba. “I’m honored to welcome these astronauts, congratulate them on their hard work, and look forward to growing our ranks as we help expand humanity’s reach into the solar system.”

The graduating NASA astronauts are Nichole Ayers of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Marcos Berríos of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Chris Birch of Gilbert, Arizona; Deniz Bunham of Wasilla, Alaska; Luke Delaney of Debary, Florida; Andre Douglas of Chesapeake, Virginia; Jack Hathaway of South Windsor, Connecticut; Anil Menon of Minneapolis; Chris Williams of Potomac, Maryland, and Jessica Wittner of Clovis, California.

Continuing the long tradition of international partnership, two UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronauts, Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, trained alongside their NASA counterparts for the past two years, as well as participated in the graduation ceremony.

This is one part of the partnership between NASA the UAE, including cooperation on the International Space Station, NASA’s Artemis missions through the Gateway lunar space station, and other activities on Earth and in space that are supporting groundbreaking science and research.

To apply to become a NASA astronaut, applicants must submit their applications by Tuesday, April 16, online at:


Josh Finch / Claire O’Shea
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100 /

Chelsey Ballarte
Johnson Space Center, Houston