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What the Astronaut Candidates Say
Here are comments from the new group of astronaut candidates, about their reactions to being selected, future space exploration and inspiring the nation's youth.

On being selected:

"Well, I would imagine it was much like (the feeling of) winning the lottery."
Jose Hernandez, mission specialist

"I've pretty much been smiling ever since."
Richard R. Arnold, mission specialist

"I was pretty overwhelmed after wanting to do this since I was in grade school."
James P. Dutton, pilot

Space exploration:

"I think that it's something very basic to us ... that we want to learn about ourselves and learn about the universe."
Robert L. Satcher, mission specialist

"I think it's the next natural step for humans to explore the universe."
Joseph Acaba, mission specialist

"We get to be a part of that group that's going to look beyond Earth, and go back to the moon, and look at Mars."
Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, mission specialist-educator

"I feel that getting out beyond lower Earth orbit is a step toward human survival."
Thomas Marshburn, mission specialist.

Inspiring youth:

"It's important to dream big and to work hard in school -- because education is the key."
Shannon Walker, mission specialist

"Whatever you're doing, do your best. None of us got here by not doing that."
Robert S. Kimbrough, mission specialist

"I want to tell them to believe in themselves and never quit, with education and any other thing they do."
Christopher Cassidy, mission specialist

+ Read the complete interviews