F‑22 Pilot Could Head to Space

The F‑22 Raptor is the most advanced air superiority fighter jet flying the skies today, its pilots among the best in the world. So, it’s no wonder that one of the newest candidates to become a NASA astronaut comes from the Raptor community. 
In December, U.S. Air Force Maj. Nichole “Vapor” Ayers was selected by NASA to enter its 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class, a cadre of only ten candidates. 
Reaching the Stars 
NASA selected Major Ayers and her nine classmates out of more than 12,000 applicants in what is one of the most selective selection processes in the world. 
“I’ve wanted to be an astronaut since I was a little kid; I can’t even remember a time where I didn’t want to be an astronaut. I grew up in the shuttle era; watching the shuttle missions is what led me to the U.S. Air Force Academy and being a pilot. I didn’t want to just be on the shuttle, I wanted to fly the shuttle,” Ayers said in an interview following her selection by NASA.
The requirements to apply alone are very selective. Applicants need to be U.S. citizens and have a master’s degree in STEM field, with preference on science, technology, engineering, or math. In addition, they have to have at the minimum three years of related professional experience or at least 1,000 flight hours in jet …

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