HOUSTON — Applications for a place in NASA’s astronaut corps surged past the 5,100 mark on Jan. 27, as a midnight deadline approached for one of the nine to 15 estimated openings in the class of 2013. The space agency selected nine men and women from 3,600 applicants in 2009, the most recent astronaut class. NASA began taking applications for the 2013 class Nov. 15. The July retirement of the space shuttle program has prompted a stream of departures. With the deadline looming, the ...


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