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A serving chief technology officer has been selected as a trainee astronaut by Nasa for training that could see him sent to Mars or landing on an asteroid.
The eight candidates were chosen from 6,100 applicants and one of the successful eight, Josh Cassada (pictured), is the current chief technology officer and co-founder of a firm called Quantum Opus, based in Michigan, that operates in the field of quantum optics.
The firm’s goal is to try and provide “low-loss, high-speed photon detectors that will enable next-generation experiments in quantum optics, optical quantum computation, single-photon communication, low-flux biophotonics, and remote sensing.”
Cassada, 39, is also a former navy aviator and holds an advanced degree in physics from the University of Rochester. V3 contacted Cassada and Quantum Opus for comment on the selection but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Cassada, along with seven other candidates of three men and four women, could be chosen to carry out several daring missions as Nasa administrator, Charles Bolden, explained.
"These new space explorers asked to join NASA because they know we’re doing big, bold things here – developing missions to go farther into space than ever before," he said.
"They’re excited about the science we’re doing on the International Space Station and our plan to launch from US soil to there on spacecraft built by US companies. And they’re ready to help lead the first human mission to an asteroid and then on to Mars."
The selection was also announced on Nasa's Twitter page.
NASA has a new group of potential astronauts who will help push the boundaries of exploration. Check them out! http://t.co/2qZt0P6OCl— NASA (@NASA) June 17, 2013
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.