For First Time In Half a Century, Astronaut Quits NASA Halfway Through Training

The last time this happened was in 1968.

NASA astronaut candidate Robb Kulin at Ellington Field in Houston. Kulin has resigned halfway through his two years of training at Johnson Space Center in Houston. (Robert Markowitz/NASA via AP)

Astronaut candidate Robb Kulin has resigned halfway through his NASA training, marking the first time in 50 years that an astronaut-in-training quit the program. NASA spokesperson Brandi Dean said that Kulin’s departure is effective Friday and that he is leaving for personal reasons that the space agency cannot discuss due to privacy laws, reports NBC News. 

Kulin was one of 12 new astronauts chosen last summer, out of 3,800 applications. The 34-year-old was a senior manager at SpaceX when selected, and said at the time that he was hoping to fly on a vehicle he helped design. SpaceX and Boeing are currently developing NASA’s first commercial crew capsules. They are due to launch next year.

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

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