NASA astronaut candidate class includes DeBary Marine

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A retired Marine from DeBary is one of 10 members of NASA’s new astronaut candidates class

Luke Delaney, a retired major with the U.S. Marine Corps, grew up in Debary, Florida.

The 42-year-old, graduated Deltona High School in 1997.

Delaney received a degree in mechanical engineering from University of North Florida before getting his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

This is the first new class of astronaut candidates in four years for NASA.

Candidates were chosen from more than 12,000 applicants from all 50 states and U.S territories


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Speaking from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the 2021 astronaut class, the first new class in four years, represents the future of America’s space program.

“Today we welcome 10 new explorers, 10 members of the Artemis generation, NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class. Alone, each candidate has ‘the right stuff,’ but together they represent the creed of our country.” Nelson said.

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Once the candidates report for duty, they will begin two years of intensive training in a variety of skills such as operating and maintaining the International Space Station, spacewalks, and Russian, just to name a few.

Former NASA astronaut and deputy administrator Pam Melroy highlighted the diverse backgrounds of candidates.

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“You bring diversity in so many forms to our astronaut corps and you stepped up to one of the highest and most exciting forms of public service,” Melroy said.

More information about the 2021 astronaut candidates and the selection process can be found here.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.