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NASA cancels next astronaut class
Posted: Wed, Apr 4, 2001, 10:34 AM ET (1434 GMT)
NASA NASA has canceled plans to select a new astronaut class later this year, the first such cancellation in over a decade, NASA officials confirmed this week. NASA Watch first reported Tuesday that NASA notified applications to the 2002 class that the agency has decided to delay the next astronaut class until at least 2003. NASA usually selects a new class of astronauts every other year, but is not required to do so: this cancellation is the first since NASA canceled astronaut classes in 1986 and 1988 in the wake of the Challenger accident. Reduced shuttle flight rates — six flights a year instead of eight — and plans to cancel a habitation module for the International Space Station that would have increased its capacity from three to seven were cited as the main reasons for not selecting a new class now. There are 154 members of the astronaut corps currently, including 69 who have yet to make a flight.
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