Potomac Native Christopher Williams Chosen by NASA as a New Astronaut Candidate; Over 12,000 Applied 

Earlier today, NASA announced that they had selected a class of new astronaut candidates. Out of over 12,000 hopefuls who applied, only 10 were selected.  

Per NASA’s press release: Christopher Williams, 38, grew up in Potomac, Maryland. He graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a doctorate in physics from MIT in 2012, where his research was in astrophysics. Williams is a board-certified medical physicist, completing his residency training at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty as a clinical physicist and researcher. He most recently worked as a medical physicist in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He was the lead physicist for the Institute’s MRI-guided adaptive radiation therapy program. His research focused on developing image guidance techniques for cancer treatments.

These new astronaut candidates will train for 2 years starting this upcoming January. Their training can range from preparing for spacewalks, developing robotics skills, safely operating a jet, learning to operate and maintain the systems aboard the International Space Station, and more. Afterwards, they could be selected for assignments in the space station, missions to the moon, or other deep space operations. 

Since the first class of astronauts selected in 1959, there have been 360 total people chosen by NASA for this unique opportunity– including the 10 who were most recently selected. 

You can learn more about the astronaut candidates who were selected here. 

Featured images courtesy of NASA. 

By Michelle Katz @pike.and.rozay

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