Astronaut Robb Kulin quits Nasa halfway through training

Ellington Field in Houston.                        Robert Markowitz  NASA via AP

Ellington Field in Houston. Robert Markowitz NASA via AP

According to the AP report, Kulin recently made a decision to leave his training at Houston's Johnson Space Centre with an effective termination date of Friday.

Kulin will formally leave NASA on Friday, becoming the first astronaut-in-training to leave that position in the past 50 years.

He had seemed destined for an out-of-this world career, one of 12 people chosen from 18,300 applicants to train as a Nasa astronaut with his sights set on potential missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. Kulin, 34, 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 design. He studied in California and graduated with a doctorate in engineering from the University of California-San Diego in 2010.

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Kulin belongs to Anchorage, Alaska. He joined SpaceX in 2011.

NASA spokesperson NASA Brandi Dean said that the astronaut had cited personal reasons for resigning. The remaining 11 members of NASA's class of 2017 are still training to become astronauts.

Reports suggest that Kulin resigned from the United States space agency with effect from August 31, 2018. There hasn't been a similar departure of an astronaut from NASA's training programme since 1968. Brian O'Leary resigned in April 1968 due to the lack of spaceflight prospects and a few months later John Llewellyn resigned after failing to make progress piloting jets.

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