Reserve Citizen Airman reaches for the stars Published June 8, 2017 Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- NASA announced June 7, that Reserve Citizen Airman Lt. Col. Robert “Farmer” Hines Jr., 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron test pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is part of the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.The announcement was made at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where Hines was one of only 12 selectees from a record-breaking 18,300 applicants.As a traditional part-time Air Force Reservist, Hines serves as an F-15E Strike Eagle program test director and award-winning test pilot at the F-15 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force for the 84th TES, a geographically separated unit from the Air Force Reserve's 926th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. In his civilian life, Hines is a full-time NASA research pilot.With 18 years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve, Hines has flown 76 combat missions in contingency operations around the world.He has experience flying 41 different civilian and military aircraft throughout his career. Hines is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours with the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and NASA.NASA selected its first astronauts in 1959 with seven men, all of whom were military pilots. To date, NASA has only selected 338 astronauts.Hines will report for duty in August for two years of astronaut training. Upon completion, he will be assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office before he is given his flight assignment.Please contact Jaimi Upthegrove at (478) 327-1746 or AFRC.PAWorkflow@us.af.mil for more information regarding this release or other Air Force Reserve Command activities. Air Force Reserve Command is on the web at: http://www.afrc.af.mil/.