JOHNSON SPACE CENTER — As of July 7, eight new astronauts are ready to help advance scientific research aboard the International Space Station and pave the way for America’s new space launch capabilities and journey to Mars.

The four women and four men moving from candidates to the corps were part of the 2013 astronaut class, chosen from 6,300 applications — the second largest number of applications NASA ever has received.

“These individuals have worked incredibly hard to attain this milestone,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “For many, it is the culmination of a lifetime of dedication and perseverance to reach this goal. We are proud to have them join the NASA astronaut corps

The group reported to Johnson in August 2013 to begin technical space system training, robotics instruction and specialized hardware and science instruction. They have successfully completed two years of intensive training and now will support mission operations and technical duties while awaiting spaceflight assignments.

“It is an honor to have these talented and skilled individuals as part of the operations organization,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at Johnson. “We look forward to their future contributions as we enter this new era of human space exploration.”

The new astronauts are:

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Josh Cassada is originally from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Cassada is a naval aviator who holds an undergraduate degree from Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and advanced degrees from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. Cassada is a physicist by training and previously served as co-founder and chief technology officer for a private technology company.

Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover, also of the U.S. Navy, hails from Pomona, California, and Prosper, Texas. He is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Glover holds degrees from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and the Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He currently is serving as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Congress. Follow Glover on Twitter at @VicGlover

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tyler "Nick" Hague calls Hoxie, Kansas, home. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Hague currently is supporting the Department of Defense as deputy chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Christina Hammock calls Jacksonville, North Carolina, home. Hammock holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She currently is serving as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Station Chief in American Samoa.

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Nicole Mann originally is from Penngrove, California. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Stanford University in California and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland. Mann is an F/A-18 pilot currently serving as an integrated product team lead at NAS Patuxent River. Follow Mann on Twitter at @AstroDuke

U.S. Army Maj. Anne McClain hails from Spokane, Washington. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the University of Bath and University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. McClain is an OH-58 helicopter pilot, and a recent graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Follow McClain on Twitter at @AstroAnnimal

Jessica Meir is from Caribou, Maine. She is a graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and has an advanced degree from the International Space University in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France. Meir earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. She currently is an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

U.S. Army Maj. Andrew Morgan considers New Castle, Pennsylvania, home. Morgan is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and earned a doctorate in medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He has experience as an emergency physician and flight surgeon for the Army special operations community, and currently is completing a sports medicine fellowship.

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