July 31, 2009
NASA has selected Mark Vande Hei '89 for the 2009 astronaut candidate class. Vande Hei was one of nine selected from over 3,500 applicants. He will begin training in August at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
According to NASA, the new astronaut candidates likely will train only to fly aboard the space station, Russian Soyuz vehicles, and NASA's shuttle replacement, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle. That will include flights designed to carry people to orbit and back to the moon by 2020.