HOUSTON -

Eight new astronaut candidates are in Houston for training at the Johnson Space Center.

On Tuesday, they took part in a news conference with NASA administrator Charles Bolden to talk about their new soaring opportunity.

"These new space explorers asked to join NASA because they know we’re doing big, bold things here -- developing missions to go farther into space than ever before," said Bolden.

"This has been a life long dream of mine," said Tyler Hague, 37, who is one of the candidates.

Each candidate is in their 30s. Most of them have served our country. Some have been involved in aviation, science and engineering.

"From the time I was a little girl, I have been deeply inspired," said candidate Anne McClain.

Half of the eight candidates are women, which is the highest percentage for NASA.  All candidates were hand picked from more than 6,100 applicants, which NASA said was it's second largest pool.

The new astronaut candidates are: Josh A. Cassada, Victor J. Glover, Tyler N. Hague, Christina M. Hammock, Nicole Aunapu Mann,  Anne C. McClain, Jessica U. Meir and Andrew R. Morgan.

Click here to learn more about the Astronaut Class of 2013.