Interest in becoming an astronaut is at an all-time high, with more than 18,300 applicants for just 12 slots in this year’s NASA training program. Today, the agency announced its picks, five women and seven men who went through a grueling selection that is tougher than any college admissions process. Honorees include surgeons, U.S. Navy Seals, and a microbiologist. Before this, the 1978 applicant pool took the record, with 8000 would-be astronauts sending in their bona fides. Recent blockbuster films, such as Interstellar and The Martian, as well as intense outreach from NASA’s social media team might explain the recent uptick in aeronautical aspirations, The Atlantic reports.