A record number of people applied to be part of NASA's astronaut training program. NASA received over 18,300 applications for 14 jobs. This is a record. NASA's human resources officials will now spend 18 months looking at and selecting the best people. It will announce the successful applicants in the middle of 2017. Brian Kelly of NASA said: "It's [great] to know so many people recognize what a great opportunity this is to be part of NASA's exciting mission. I look forward to meeting the men and women talented enough to rise to the top."
There is a great desire to work on America's space program. NASA's Charlie Bolden said: "So many Americans from diverse backgrounds want to personally contribute to blazing the trail on our journey to Mars." The top applicants will have an interview in Houston, Texas. The chosen candidates will then get two years of training. They will learn things such as spacewalking, teamwork and operating spacecraft systems. They will also learn Russian. After that, they could go to the International Space Station or work for companies making spacecraft for tourists, such as SpaceX.