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NASA chooses eight new astronauts, four of them women

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The selections come just days after the world celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of the first woman into space: Soviet astronaut Valentina Tereshkova. Some twenty years later, Sally Ride, Astronaut Class of 1978, became the first American woman to visit space.

The new trainees, all in their 30s, boast impressive and varied backgrounds in the US military and academia and will begin training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston this August.

They are:

Josh A. Cassada, Ph. D., 39, is originally from White Bear Lake, Minn. Cassada is a former naval aviator who holds an undergraduate degree from Albion College, and advanced degrees from the University of Rochester, N.Y. Cassada is a physicist by training and currently is serving as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Quantum Opus.

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