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Jacksonville native selected as new NASA astronaut

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -

A Jacksonville woman has been selected by NASA to train as an astronaut.

NASA says 34-year-old Christina Hammock is 1 of 8 candidates selected to train. Hammock has undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State.

The 2013 class was selected from more than 6,100 applicants, the largest number NASA has ever received.

The new group of astronauts will receive a technical training at space centers around the globe to prepare for missions to low-earth orbit, an asteroid, and Mars.

Hammock is currently assigned to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's climate observatory in American Samoa.

She says she's excited about the prospect of going into space, learning to fly a jet and learning to speak Russian.

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