The Flies
Year selected2021
Number selected12
← 2017

NASA Astronaut Group 23 (nicknamed The Flies) was announced on December 6, 2021, with the class reporting for duty some time in 2022. Twelve astronaut candidates were selected, including seven men and five women.


Group patch

NASA announced the creation of this astronaut group in February 2020 and accepted applications for astronaut hires during the month of March 2020. For this class, the educational requirements increased to be at minimum a master's degree in a STEM field (engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics) from an accredited institution; in classes prior to this, a bachelor's degree was all that was required. Additionally, a 2-hour online assessment was required for the first time.[1] Over 12,000 applications were received by NASA, coming from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.[2]

The Group 23 astronaut candidates were originally planned to arrive at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for training in the summer of 2021, and when their approximately two-year-long training program is complete, they become available for future missions to the International Space Station in low Earth orbit aboard NASA or commercial crew vehicles, the Moon via the Artemis program, and Mars.[1] However, due to complications with interviewing potential applicants in person due to COVID-19 restrictions at JSC, the announcement of the new class has been pushed back twice:

Two Emirati candidates, Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla, selected by the MBRSC, will take part in training as international partner astronauts. Hazza Al Mansouri – who already went to space on board Soyuz MS-15 – and candidate Sultan Al Neyadi were already training at NASA since before the 23rd group was chosen, but only Nora and Mohammad are considered part of the group 23.[6][7]

Group 23, including the two Emirati candidates, graduated NASA's astronaut training program on March 5, 2024, becoming eligible for assignment to future missions.[8]

Group members

External videos
video icon Astronaut Class of 2021 Official Announcement December 6, 2021
External videos
video icon NASA's Astronaut Graduation 2024 March 5, 2024

The list:[9]

Two candidate astronauts from the United Arab Emirates are training as part of the group 23:[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Schierholz, Stephanie. "Explorers Wanted: NASA to Hire More Artemis Generation Astronauts". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Leinfelder, Andrea. "More than 12,000 apply to be NASA's next class of astronauts". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  3. ^ Pearlman, Robert. "NASA delays new astronaut selection due to coronavirus constraints". collectSpace. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Blodgett, Rachael. "Astronaut Selection Timeline". National Aeronautics & Space Administration. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Blodgett, Rachael. "Astronaut Selection Timeline". National Aeronautics & Space Administration. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "MBRSC announces final 14 candidates for the UAE Astronaut Programme".
  7. ^ "UAE names two new astronauts, including first woman candidate | collectSPACE".
  8. ^ NASA's Astronaut Graduation 2024
  9. ^ Margetta, Robert (December 6, 2021). "NASA Selects New Astronaut Recruits to Train for Future Missions". NASA. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  10. ^ "NASA Introduces Class of 10 New Astronaut Candidates". December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021. Mr. Nelson also announced that two people from the United Arab Emirates, Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla, will train with the NASA astronaut candidates.
  11. ^ "NASA names 10 new astronaut candidates for future space missions". December 6, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021. The new astronaut candidates will be joined in their training by two United Arab Emirates (UAE) candidates, Nora AlMatrooshi, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer, and Mohammad AlMulla, a 33-year-old pilot for the Dubai Police, who were selected by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai in April.