NASA astronaut candidate from Miami graduates after 2 years of training

MIAMI (WSVN) - One of Miami’s very own is among the select group of men and women who graduated from NASA astronaut training.

Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, spent the past two years completing basic training to become eligible for spaceflight, including missions to the International Space Station, the Moon and even Mars someday.

Rubio is among the 11 candidates who took part in the training.

He graduated from Miami Sunset Senior High and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Rubio accumulated more than 1,100 hours of experience as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot as well as “600 hours of combat and imminent danger time,” according to NASA.

Prior to the start of training, Rubio was a surgeon for the Army’s 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colorado.

The graduation ceremony took place at Johnson Space Center at 10:30 a.m. ET.

It’s the first class to graduate under the Artemis program, which aims to send the next man and first woman to the moon by 2024.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the group was selected in 2017 from a pool of 18,000 applicants.

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