Marine Technology News: NASA’s most recent class of astronauts was introduced June 7, 2017 at Johnson Space Flight Center. Among the group of 12 astronaut candidates is Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research engineer Loral O’Hara, selected from NASA’s largest ever applicant pool of more than 18,300.
She came to WHOI in 2009, initially as an engineer working on mechanical system design, systems engineering and naval certification for the project to upgrade the human-occupied submersible Alvin. Most recently, she worked with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason Operations Group as an engineer and seagoing mechanical technician and data processor, and contributed to a variety of subsea system development projects within WHOI that included development of novel underwater vehicles to explore extreme deep sea environments. She has participated in 10 research cruises, and, in 2013, completed a dive in Alvin.