NASA brought on board 11 new grandaunt astronauts adding up the number of those qualified for spaceflight duties and assignments that will widen the scope of humanity’s horizons in space research for years to come. The fresh astronauts successfully finished two years of basic training in the required field and are the first to be graduated since the Artemis program came on board.
The fresh graduates may be allocated missions headed for the International Space Station, the moon, and most likely, Mars. To achieve a lunar exploration that is sustainable later on in this decade, NASA will assign a first woman and a second man to the moon’s surface by the year 2024. In addition to this, lunar missions are often planned once every year; hence Mars’ human exploration is scheduled for the mid-2030s.
According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, at the graduation ceremony, which took place at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, the individuals are a representation of America’s best. He made it clear that 2020 was going to be the mark of the rebirth of launching American astronauts on rockets owned by Americans from the American soil. The Artemis program will progress to the moon and beyond, as he stated.
During the graduation ceremony, each fresh astronaut was given a silver pin, a tradition ranging back from the Mercury 7 astronauts of 1959. On completion of a successful first spacelift, they were to receive gold pins. Being the first public graduation hosted by the agency for astronauts, there were public speakers, among them John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Cornyn stated in his speech that the U.S is the leader of the world in space exploration, the new astronauts will add to its history and will accomplish incredible things. Being that they had been chosen from a pool of over 18000 applicants and for being the pioneers of the Artemis graduating class, Cruz conveyed a congratulatory message to the new astronauts.
Together with the current class, NASA has 48 astronauts actively involved in its corps. It is also putting into consideration plans to open up an application process this year for the next astronaut candidate class. Two Canadian Space Agency (CSA)astronauts went through the whole training process and even graduated with the NASA astronaut.
NASA’s newest astronauts are:
- Kayla Barron, a U.S. Navy lieutenant from Richland, Washington.
- Zena Cardman, a marine scientist from Williamsburg,Virginia.
- Raja Chari, a U.S Airforce Colonel who hails from Cedar Falls, IOWA.
- Mathew Dominick, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander from Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
- Bob Hines, a U.S Air Force lieutenant Colonel from Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
- Warren Hoburg from Pittsburg, an Aeronautics engineer.
- Dr.Jonny Kim, a U.S navy lieutenant from Los Angeles.
- Jasmin Moghbeli, a U.S.Marine Corps Major from Baldwin, New York.
- Loral O’Hara born in Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.
- Dr.Fransisco Rubio,a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel from Miami.
- Jessica Watkins from Lafayette, Colorado, a geologist.
CSA’s new astronauts are;
- Joshua Kutryk, a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant colonel from Beauvallon, Alberta.
- Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons from Calgary, Alberta, a mechanical engineer.
Astronaut training of candidates involved instruction, testing on spacewalking, International Space Station Systems, T-38 jet proficiency, and learning the Russian language.