NASA Astronaut Group 22 (nicknamed "The Turtles") is a group of twelve NASA astronauts selected in June 2017. They were joined by two Canadian Space Agency astronauts for training.
NASA announced the creation of this astronaut group in November 2015 and accepted applications for astronaut hires from December 2015 through February 2016. A record number of applications - over 18,300 - were received. The final group of twelve selected candidates was publicly announced on June 7, 2017. The class was introduced at a press conference at the Johnson Space Center by U. S. Vice President Mike Pence. The ages of the seven men and six women ranged from 29 to 42 at the time of announcement.
The Group 22 astronaut candidates arrived at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for training in August 2017, and when their approximately two-year-long training program was complete in January 2020, they became available for future missions.
The group earned their "Turtles" nickname after experiencing flooding from Hurricane Harvey shortly after arriving at NASA. The name was chosen by the preceding astronaut group, "The 8-Balls", according to NASA traditions.
The first astronauts of this astronaut group to fly to space, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron on SpaceX Crew-3 took a toy stuffed turtle as zero-g indicator, to pay a tribute to their astronaut group.
The U.S. astronauts trained alongside two Canadian astronaut candidates: