Thirteen astronauts who may be the next humans to walk on the moon or even make the historic journey to Mars have been chosen as NASA’s newest astronauts.
NASA chose 11 Americans and two Canadians to graduate under the Artemis program.
The group will be officially introduced Jan. 10 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
After completing more than two years of basic training, the graduates will become eligible for spaceflight, including assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the moon, and, ultimately, missions to Mars.
The NASA candidates were chosen from a record-setting pool of more than 18,000 applicants. The Canadian Space Agency candidates have been training alongside their NASA classmates.
Meet the new astronauts:
- Kayla Barron, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, is originally from Richland, Washington. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering. A Gates Cambridge scholar, Barron earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. A submarine warfare officer, Barron served aboard the USS Maine.
- Zena Cardman calls Williamsburg, Virginia, home. She completed a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in marine sciences at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Cardman was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow working at Penn State University. Her research focused on microorganisms in subsurface environments, ranging from caves to deep sea sediments.
- Raja Chari, a U.S. Air Force colonel, hails from Cedar Falls, Iowa. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with bachelor’s degrees in astronautical engineering and engineering science. He continued on to earn a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
- Matthew Dominick, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, was born and raised in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He also graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Dominick served on the USS Ronald Reagan.
- Bob Hines, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, attended high school in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, but considers Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, his hometown. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Boston University and a master’s degree in flight test engineering from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB. Hines served as a developmental test pilot on all models of the F-15 while earning a master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama. He deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
- Warren Hoburg is originally from Pittsburgh. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT, and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a commercial pilot and spent several seasons serving on the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Yosemite Search and Rescue. Hoburg came to NASA from MIT, where he led a research group as an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics.
- Dr. Jonny Kim, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, was born and raised in Los Angeles. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, then trained and operated as a Navy SEAL, completing more than 100 combat operations and earning a Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat V. Afterward, he went on to complete a degree in mathematics at the University of San Diego and a doctorate of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Kim was a resident physician in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
- Jasmin Moghbeli, a U.S. Marine Corps major, considers Baldwin, New York, her hometown. She earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering with information technology at MIT and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. She also is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Moghbeli came to NASA from Yuma, Arizona, where she tested H-1 helicopters and served as the quality assurance and avionics officer for Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1.
- Loral O’Hara was born in Houston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University. Prior to joining NASA, O’Hara was a research engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
- Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is originally from Miami. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and a doctorate of medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Rubio has more than 1,100 hours as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, including 600 hours of combat and imminent danger time.
- Jessica Watkins hails from Lafayette, Colorado. She graduated from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, with a bachelor’s degree in geological and environmental sciences, then went on to earn a doctorate in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Watkins has worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology.
CSA’s astronaut candidates are:
- Joshua Kutryk, a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant colonel, is from Beauvallon, Alberta. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, as well as master’s degrees in space studies, flight test engineering and defense studies. Prior to joining CSA, Kutryk worked as an experimental test pilot and a fighter pilot in Cold Lake, Alberta, where he led the unit responsible for the operational flight testing of fighter aircraft in Canada.
- Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons hails from Calgary, Alberta. She holds an honors bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from McGill University in Montreal and a doctorate in engineering from the University of Cambridge. While at McGill, she conducted research on flame propagation in microgravity, in collaboration with CSA and the National Research Council Flight Research Laboratory.
All 13 have completed training in spacewalking, robotics, International Space Station systems, T-38 jet proficiency and Russian language.
As astronauts, they’ll help develop spacecraft, support the teams currently in space and ultimately join the ranks of only about 500 people who have gone into space.
NASA said it is on the verge of launching astronauts from American soil aboard American commercial spacecraft and preparing to send humans to the moon as part of the Artemis program.
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