Among 10 new NASA astronauts, 1 calls Central Florida home

For the first time in four years, NASA is training a new class of astronauts and one of them grew up in Central Florida. 

The space agency on Monday announced the 10 new astronauts, half of them military pilots, as it looks ahead to the moon and Mars.

Luke Delaney, 42, who grew up in Volusia County, holds degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering and was a distinguished naval aviator.

He graduated from Deltona High School in 1997.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of North Florida, Jacksonville, in 2006 and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, in 2016.

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Delaney completed Marine Officer Training in 2006, Navy Flight Training in 2008, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 2014. He is a Federal Aviation Administration-certified flight and instrument instructor for single and multi-engine airplanes.  Delaney enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1998, completing Naval Aircrew Candidate School where he was selected to be a KC-130 Navigator. 

Born in Miami, Florida, Delaney considers DeBary, Florida to be his hometown.  He said he was surprised to hear that he was accepted as a candidate.

"The phone call for me might be little bit anti-climactic. It was in between meetings in a telework environment," he explained.  "Honestly, I asked if I could get back to them which is probably not the normal response they hear."

Delaney said he had to first ask his wife before he made the decision.   He said his decision to become an astronaut stems from witnessing rocket launches in Central Florida as a kid.

NASA introduced the six men and four women during a ceremony in Houston, home to Mission Control and the astronaut corps.

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