Astronaut candidate resigns from NASA program for first time since 1968
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An astronaut candidate for NASA plans to resign Friday, making him the first candidate to resign from the space agency in 50 years, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Robb Kulin, a 2017 astronaut candidate, is resigning for “personal reasons,” the newspaper reported. Kulin, 35, began his two-year training last August at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, according to the Chronicle.

A spokeswoman for NASA’s Houston location told the Chronicle that NASA did not plan to replace Kulin after his resignation. He will become the first candidate since 1968 to resign before qualifying for spaceflight, the newspaper reported.


Kulin left a job with SpaceX last year to join the NASA astronaut class, according to media reports.

Kulin is originally from Alaska and has earned a master’s degree and a doctorate, per media reports. He started at SpaceX in 2011 to work on an upgrade of the Falcon 9, one of SpaceX’s rockets, according to USA Today.

"My whole goal coming out of that, and I would say the team’s whole goal, was to make sure that the Falcon 9 was as reliable and successful as possible for SpaceX’s commercial partners but also, of course very importantly, for the crew that will fly on that vehicle," he said last year, according to USA Today. "It’s something just that helped us grow stronger and me grow stronger as an engineer."

Kulin has not commented publicly on his decision to resign from NASA.