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News Release

Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications

RELEASE: NASA and OPM Celebrate Newest Class of Astronaut Graduates, Launch Selection Process for Next Class

Washington, D.C. Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) welcomed its new class of next generation Artemis astronauts in a ceremony at the agency’s Johnson Space Center on Tuesday. The ten astronaut graduates are now eligible for flight assignments. The agencies 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.”

“Congratulations to NASA and the astronaut candidates,” said 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.”  

More than 12,000 U.S. citizens applied in 2020 to become astronauts in the new class of the “Artemis Generation.” NASA employed OPM’s tools (USAJOBS, USA Staffing, and USA Hire) to help evaluate the applicants and select the finalists after going through an intensive, multi-stage process. These tools modernized and automated the application process, resulting in more efficient processing and review of applicants.  

Selected for training in 2021, the recent NASA astronaut class graduated after successfully completing more than two years of required basic training, including spacewalking, robotics, space station systems, and more.  

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

Training alongside the NASA astronaut candidates for the past two years were two UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronauts who also participated in the graduation ceremony.  

Find out more about the recent astronaut graduates on NASA’s website.  

NASA also officially opened its applications for the newest class of astronauts. NASA will work collaboratively with OPM to accept applications on USAJOBS until April 2. To apply to become a NASA astronaut, applicants should apply on USAJOBS.  



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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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