Welcome, Space Cadets! Meet NASA's 2017 Astronaut Class

Dr. Francisco "Frank" Rubio


Though originally from Miami, Florida, Dr. Frank Rubio now calls Fort Carson, Colorado home, where he serves as a surgeon for the 3rd Battalion of the Army's 10th Special Forces Group. Rubio, a Major in the U.S. Army, earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He then went on to complete a doctorate of medicine from the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences. Rubio, 41, has over 1,100 hours of helicopter flight time, with 600 of those in combat and imminent danger time.

Read Frank Rubio's full NASA biography here.

NEXT: Jessica Watkins

Jessica Watkins


A 29-year-old postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, Jessica Watkins is from Lafayette, Colorado. She earned a B.S. in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University. She also completed a doctorate in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She worked at NASA's Ames Research Center as well and the Jet Propulsion laboratory. And, at CIT, she collaborates on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.

Read Jessica Watkins' full NASA biography here.

NEXT: What's Next for New Astronauts?

What's Next?

Robert Markowitz/NASA

Now that they've been chosen, the elite group will prepare for their future as astronauts.

Full Story: What's Next for New Astronauts?

The "ascans," or astronaut candidates, will begin the two year training process at Johnson Space Center learning about the International Space Station and all its systems, practicing for spacewalks in a giant pool and becoming proficient speaking Russian, to enable communications with our ISS partners.

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