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Former Student-Athlete Named Astronaut Candidate by NASA

June 9, 2017

Kayla Barron NASA Bio

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Former Navy cross country and women’s track and field student-athlete Kayla (Sax) Barron has been named an astronaut candidate by NASA. After receiving a record-breaking number of applications of more than 18,300 applicants, NASA chose 12 women and men as the agency’s new astronaut candidates.

Barron competed for the Midshipmen in both cross country and track and field during her time at the Academy from 2007 to 2010. She was a multi-year letterwinner competing primarily in the distance events. Barron was a member of the Navy women’s cross country team that won the 2008 Patriot League Championship.

“Kayla was a natural leader, both on and off the track,” head women’s track and field coach Carla Criste stated. “Even as a young plebe, you could tell she was destined to do great things.”

In addition to her efforts on the field, Barron excelled in the classroom. She boasted a 4.00 grade point average in honors systems engineering throughout her time at the Naval Academy. Barron made the Commandant’s List every semester and was also a member of the Superintendent’s List and Dean’s List. She concluded her academic career ranked first in her class of 1,050 in Academic Order of Merit.

Following graduation, Barron became the ninth student from the Naval Academy to be awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which enables academically outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom to pursue graduate study at the University of Cambridge. She earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge.

As a Submarine Warfare Officer, Barron was a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community.

Barron and her fellow NASA astronaut candidates will report for duty in August 2017.



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