NASA Astronaut Group 22

NASA Astronaut Group 22 (nicknamed "The Turtles") is a group of twelve astronauts selected in June 2017.

The Turtles
NASA Astronaut Group 22 with Vice President Mike Pence
Year selected2017
Number selected12


NASA announced the creation of this astronaut group in November 2015 and accepted applications for astronaut hires from December 2015 through February 2016.[1] A record number of applications - over 18,300 - were received. The final group of twelve selected candidates was publicly announced on June 7, 2017.[2]

The Group 22 Astronaut Candidates arrived at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for training in August 2017, and when their approximately two-year-long training program is complete, they will be available for future missions.

The class was introduced at a press conference at the Johnson Space Center by U. S. Vice President Mike Pence. The ages of the seven men and five women ranged from 29 to 42 at the time of announcement.

The group earned their nickname from the prior astronaut group, "The 8-Balls," as is tradition dating back to "The Mercury Seven" in 1962 which subsequently provided the "Next Nine" with their nickname. They were given this name, for the most part, because of Hurricane Harvey.[3]



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