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I'm trying to identify a series of books about teenagers who go into space to land on Mars in the late 80's or early 90's. The three ships that go up are called the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

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  • Do you remember anything about the characters or the events of the novel?
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 1:27

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Could it be Young Astronauts series by Rick North (1990)?

In this first book of a series, the United Nations has selected the world's brightest students to launch an ambitious space program--the colonization of Mars. Teams of teenagers have been invited to Houston for training and evaluation, but only the highest-scoring groups will be chosen for the mission. Fair-minded Nathan, an American, soon discovers the keen competition, as do his team members: the handsome Russian, Sergei; Noemi, a fashion-conscious math whiz from Venezuela; Lanie, a troubled American computer whiz; Genshiro, a brilliant Japanese; the level-headed Alice, a New Zealander; and Karl, a German who is grieving over his mother's untimely death.

This other reference of fictional astronauts also matches the series with the names for the shuttles/spaceships: Nina,Pinta, Santa Maria. It also provides a list of characters.

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