University of North Florida alumnus chosen as one of 10 new NASA astronaut candidates

Jacksonville — University of North Florida alumnus and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. (retired.), Luke Delaney has been chosen by NASA to join the first new astronaut class in four years.

As one of 10 chosen among a field of more than 12,000 applicants across the U.S., the 42-year old Florida native received his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from UNF. The Debary High School graduate also received a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School.

The distinguished naval aviator executed exercises throughout Asia’s Pacific region and conducted combat missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition to serving as a test pilot instructor, Delaney evaluated weapon system integrations. At the time of his selection as an astronaut candidate, Delaney worked as a Research Pilot at NASA’s Langley Research Center supporting airborne science missions. His research includes collecting atmospheric data to make informed decisions on climate change and the environment for a “better understanding of the planet.”

“So going from that science mission coming over to the space mission with this team is just an incredible experience,” he said.

The Houston class is described as one of the most diverse astronaut classes to date.

Delaney will report for duty in January 2022 at Johnson Space Center to begin two years of intensive training. His future mission may include performing research aboard the space station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and “deep space missions” to the Moon on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti is a seasoned journalist, photojournalist, and published author and works as a reporter for WOKV News. Lucia is a graduate of the University of West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism.

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