Two of NASA's newest astronauts have ties to Alabama

Bob Hines (left) and Dr. Frank Rubio (right) (NASA via AP)

Two of NASA's newest Astronauts have ties to Alabama. Bob Hines received an advanced degree in the state, and Dr. Frank Rubio served as a flight surgeon on an Alabama military post.

The two men are both part of the Astronaut Class of 2017, selected Wednesday at NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center.

Hines lives in Pennsylvania but earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama in 2010.

Hines has served in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves for 18 years, accumulating more than 3,500 hours of flight time in 41 different types of aircraft.

Rubio is a combat veteran from Los Angeles with 600 hours of combat and imminent danger time during deployments to Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

He also served as a clinic supervisor, an executive medicine provider and a flight surgeon at Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville.

Both are among the five men and seven women who will join 44 astronauts already in the NASA corps. The Class of 2017 was picked from a record of more than 18,000 people who threw their hats in the ring to become an astronaut.

The new astronauts will undergo two years of training before riding commercial rockets to the International Space Station or flying beyond the moon in NASA's Orion Spacecraft. Orion will be propelled by an engine being developed at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Hines and Rubio will report for duty in August.

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