Three Things NASA?s New Astronauts Teach Us About the Future of Space Travel

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A few weeks ago, NASA announced its 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. The twelve successful applicants will now undergo two years of intense training before heading to space. This seriously inspiring team can teach us important lessons about the directions that space travel is taking, both today and in the imminent future.

Space travel is becoming more diverse

Perhaps the most important takeaway from NASA?s new class of space pioneers? It?s the most diverse team of astronauts ever assembled. The team is drawn from a variety of genders, ethnicities, ages and backgrounds. Five of the astronauts are women, seven are men. The youngest astronaut candidate is 29, and the oldest 42. The candidates? fields of expertise include geology, medicine, aeronautics, aviation and engineering. The successful applicants show that it?s your skills and personal commitment that count, not your gender.

More people than ever want to travel to space

Interest in space travel is booming. The amount of applicants to NASA?s Candidate Class bears that out. More than 18,300 people applied ? that?s a record-breaking number. The 12 successful applicants add up to NASA?s largest astronaut class in nearly 20 years. The pioneering spirit is growing and growing. And this is just the start. Remember LinkedIn?s discovery that three million of its US users could potentially qualify as astronauts?

Space is entering a new golden age

New technologies and new commercial possibilities are opening access to space in a way never seen before. NASA?s new astronauts will be working on a huge number of projects ? some of which could involve privately funded spacecraft. Commercial space travel is the future of human exploration. And with pioneers the caliber of these 12 new astronauts, things are about to get even more exciting. The cost of space travel is coming down all the time. It?s possible that in the near future a trip to sub-orbital space could be the same price as a transatlantic flight.

NASA?s class of 2017 teach us that if you want something enough, you can achieve it. Nothing is impossible. No one can place a limit on your dreams. There are no borders to the human imagination.

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