Salvadorian Astronaut: Resume, Army Major, Helicopter Pilot, and Surgeon

This week, NASA announced its newest class of astronauts. Out of a record setting 18,300 applicants, 12 people were selected to be members of the new class of space travelers. They’ll train for the next two years before becoming full fledged astronauts, performing missions and going into space. Among the 12 amazingly qualified women and men chosen is Dr. Frank Rubio, a Salvadoran-American, born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami. Dr. Rubio is not only a Major in the U.S. Army, having flown over 1,100 hours as a Blackhawk Helicopter pilot (including 600 hours of combat), the man is also a surgeon. Can you even get more qualified than that? He’s also a member of the very exclusive group of Latino astronauts at NASA.

Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio was announced as one of the members of the newest class of NASA astronaut candidates.

There have been just eleven Latino astronauts in total out of 350 chosen since Mercury 7 in 1959. Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa is one of those eleven and said this of the new class:

“These women and men deserve our enthusiastic congratulations. Children all across the United States right now dream of being in their shoes someday. We here at NASA are excited to welcome them to the team and look forward to working with them to inspire the next generation of explorers.”

The introduction to all 12 new astronauts was made at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

Among the 12 are engineers, scientists, pilots, a Navy SEAL and two doctors. In a separate post, NASA writes, “The talented women and men selected for the new astronaut class represent the diversity of America and the career paths that can lead to a place in America’s astronaut corps.”

Vice President Mike Pence was on hand to give remarks about the new astronauts.

“You are the 12 that made it through. You have joined the elites. You are the best of us,” said Vice President Pence.

After the pomp and circumstance, the crew got together to bond and take a couple selfies.

A post shared by NASA (@nasa) on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:53am PDT

From the Instagram caption on this photo, these astronauts could end up working at the International Space Station, launching on spaceships created by commercial companies or going into deep space missions on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

We can’t wait to see what Dr. Rubio and the new class will accomplish in space!

[H/T] Al Día

READ: She Wasn’t About To Spend 4 Months Eating Canned Food, So This Boricua Figured Out How To Make Puerto Rican Food On Mars

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