NASA formally welcomed its new crop of astronaut candidates on Tuesday, along with the unusual nickname bestowed upon them by the 2009 astronaut cohort.
The "8 Balls" have landed in NASA's center pocket.
On Tuesday (Aug. 20), eight new astronaut candidates — nicknamed the "Eight Balls" — were formally welcomed to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they're set to begin two years of basic training.
"For more than 50 years, from the early days of Gemini and the Apollo moon landings to the historic achievements of the 30-year space shuttle era and today's International Space Station, the Johnson Space Center has been home to America's human spaceflight program," Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator and a former astronaut, said Tuesday morning at a press conference. [Photos: NASA's 2013 Astronaut Class in Pictures]
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