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Space

For first time in 50 years, astronaut quits Nasa training

The Nasa gig is not an easy one to get – some 18,000 people routinely seek the 12 spots that open each year

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2018, 12:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2018, 12:36pm

For the first time in 50 years, an astronaut candidate is quitting Nasa.

Astronaut candidate Robb Kulin has resigned halfway through his two years of training at Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

Nasa spokeswoman Brandi Dean said his departure is effective Friday and that he was leaving for personal reasons that the space agency cannot discuss due to privacy laws.

Kulin was among 12 new astronauts chosen last summer from a record 18,300 applicants.

Kulin, 34, was working as a senior manager at SpaceX when selected and said at the time he was hoping to fly on a vehicle he helped design.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing Nasa’s first commercial crew capsules, due to launch within the next year.

He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and an ice driller in Antarctica.

The last time astronauts-in-training resigned from Nasa was in 1968.