Nasa sees astronaut-in-training quit for first time in 50 years

Robb Kulin (34), one of 12 chosen from 18,300 applicants, leaving programme for personal reasons

Robb Kulin resigned from Nasa, effective August 31st, for personal reasons. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Robb Kulin resigned from Nasa, effective August 31st, for personal reasons. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

An astronaut-in-training has quit Nasa, the first time it has happened in 50 years.

Robb Kulin resigned halfway through his two years of training at Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

Nasa spokeswoman Brandi Dean said his departure is effective from Friday and that he is leaving for personal reasons that the space agency cannot discuss due to privacy laws.

Mr Kulin was among 12 new astronauts chosen last summer from a record 18,300 applicants.

The 34-year-old was working as a senior manager at SpaceX when selected and said at the time he was hoping to fly on a vehicle he helped to design.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing Nasa’s first commercial crew capsules, due to launch within the next year.

Mr Kulin grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and an ice driller in Antarctica.

The last time astronauts-in-training resigned from Nasa was in 1968. - PA