WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- Out of 18,000 applications only 12 were given the spot and only one has ties to the area.

NASA selected a Williamsburg native to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

Zena Cardman was born in Urbana, Illinois but considers Williamsburg to be her home.

She graduated from Bruton High School before earning a Bachelor's in biology, and a Masters in Marine Sciences.

Cardman has focused her research on microorganisms in subsurface environments, ranging from caves to deep sea sediments.

Her resume looks good too with experience including expeditions to Antarctic, work aboard research vessels as both a scientist and crew, and NASA analog missions in British Columbia, Idaho, and Hawaii.

Zena will report for duty at NASA in August to begin two years of training as an astronaut candidate. Upon completion she will be assigned technical duties in the astronaut office while she awaits flight assignments.

NASA announced on Wednesday, June 14 that 12 people were chosen for the opportunity to become astronauts.