NASA on Monday announced the appointment of eight Americans to begin training for future deep-space missions that could include a trip to Mars or an asteroid. The new astronaut class consists of four men and four women and has both scientists and military pilots. "These new space explorers asked to join NASA because they know we're doing big, bold things here -- developing missions to go farther into space than ever before. ... [T]hey're ready to help lead the first human mission to an asteroid and then on to Mars," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

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