NASA has picked eight new astronauts, half of them women. And that’s the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected for a class. There were 6,100 applicants.

NASA says they choose their astronauts based only on skill and qualifications. It has nothing to do with gender.

They’ll begin their training in August at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Then the eight new astronauts will join the 49 astronauts already on standby at NASA.

Interesting that we have so many astronauts and no way to put them in space. There are only two countries with the ability to launch humans into space and that’s China and Russia. China just put two men and a woman into space on a 15-day mission last week. If we want to put an American in space, we have to hitch a ride on a Russian or Chinese spacecraft.

How about the future for the American space program? We have plans but no money. NASA had been working on Project Constellation. The idea was to return to the moon and use that as a stepping stone to Mars and other planets. President Obama cancelled it in 2010.

To his credit though he’s allowed funding for a NASA project to redirect the orbit of an asteroid, possibly land astronauts on it and put it in to the orbit of the moon.

Sounds like Star Wars stuff, but we’ve always wondered what we’d do if we found out a large asteroid was headed for a collision with earth. In the next 15 to 20 years we’re hoping to get some answers on what could be done.

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