- 06.18.13 04:54 PM EDT
NASA announced its first new group of astronauts in four years. Of the newly inducted crew, four of the eight are women making it the highest female percentage in a new class in NASA's history. This is especially appropriate since the announcement came a day before the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride's landmark ascent as the first woman in space.
The eight members were chosen from more than 6,000 applicants and are set to begin their tenure this August. Their tasks will include the first human mission to an asteroid in the 2020s and a journey to Mars in the decade to follow.
The group includes two pilots with military backgrounds, Nicole Aunapu Mann and Anne McClain, and two scientists, Christina Hammock and Jessica Meir. The men, Josh Cassada, Victor Glover and Tyler (Nick) Hague, all have military backgrounds including former emergency room physician Dr. Andrew Morgan.