The 12 astronauts chosen to conquer Mars

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NASA selected the aspirants to colonize the red planet

NASA

The US vice president, Mike Pence, praised on Wednesday 12 new astronauts NASA describing them as “the best of us” after they were selected from a record group of more than 18,000 applicants.

The seven men and five women who will be part of the US space program, moving to Mars and other destinations in the more distant space in the coming decades, include military pilots, physicists and marine biologists.

“You guys are the best of us,” Pence told them at an event in Houston.

“With President Donald Trump, the United States will lead in space once again and the world will marvel,” Pence said.

More than 18,300 people submitted applications to become astronauts between December 2015 and February 2016. It was more than double the previous record of 8,000 established in 1978, NASA reported, announcing a new body of astronauts every few years.

Among those chosen include a scientist working with the Curiosity rover, a SpaceX engineer, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an Army surgeon.

“I hope one day I will fly in a vehicle that has components I’ve actually designed,” said Robb Kulin, 33, a doctor of engineering.

To apply for these positions you must be a US citizen, have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics and have at least three years of related experience.

The new astronauts will start special training in August, which will include ships systems space is, walks skills space is and courses to communicate with Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station.

Pence also announced that it will lead a new advisory council on space issues, which was dissolved in 1993.

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