NASA picks Spokane woman for Mars, asteroid missions

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Anne McClain

Photo Credit: NASA

SEATTLE — An eastern Washington woman is among NASA’s new class of astronauts destined for Mars.

U.S. Army Maj. Anne McClain, 34, of Spokane, is one of eight people chosen from 6,000 applicants for this year’s class. McClain, a helicopter pilot, is also one of four women chosen by NASA, the highest percentage of female astronauts in the agency’s history.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden said the 2013 class will help lead the first manned missions to Mars and an asteroid. The eight selected astronauts will report for duty at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in August.

McClain is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and recently graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

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