It's safe to say NASA's Astronaut Selection Board had their work cut out for them when a record-setting 18,000+ space enthusiasts applied to be a part of the newest astronaut class. After assessing thousands of qualified candidates, the results are in, and one of the 12 chosen astronauts-to-be is Salvadorian-American Frank Rubio.
It's easy to see why Rubio was picked to join the ranks at NASA because he's got quite the laundry list of qualifications. Born in Los Angeles but raised in Miami, the married father of four graduated from the US Military Academy and also earned a Doctorate of Medicine. Before starting medical school, he served as a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot, flying a casual 1,100 hours, 600 of which were spent in combat. Oh, and did we mention he's also a surgeon?
Seeing as there have only been 11 Latino NASA astronauts to date, Rubio's selection is a pretty darn big deal. So what's next for Rubio and his fellow candidates? This August, they'll start two years of training to learn the ins and outs of the job before being assigned to an official mission. We're looking forward to seeing what he and the rest of the newest NASA additions accomplish in space!