Tomorrow (Jan. 10), the first class of NASA astronauts for the Artemis generation will graduate, and you can watch the historic ceremony live online.
As the first astronaut candidates to graduate under NASA's Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024, these graduates will be qualified to fly to the International Space Station and, soon enough, take Artemis missions to the moon, the Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway and Mars.
"After completing more than two years of basic training, these candidates will become eligible for spaceflight, including assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars," NASA officials said in a statement.
The ceremony, which will take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, will begin tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. EST (1430 GMT). You can watch it live on the Space.com home page, courtesy of a NASA TV broadcast.
The graduating class includes 11 NASA astronaut candidates and two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut candidates, who were selected for the program in 2017 from a pool of over 18,000 applicants. While this class does not have the highest percentage of women in the history of astronaut classes (a previous year saw a class with 50 percent women), the group is fairly diverse. The class includes six women and seven men from a wide variety of backgrounds and locations.
The candidates from NASA include:
- Kayla Barron, a U.S. Navy lieutenant with a bachelor's degree in systems engineering and a master's in nuclear engineering.
- Zena Cardman, who has a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's in marine sciences. She has researched microorganisms in subsurface environments and has completed fieldwork around the world.
- Raja Chari, a U.S. Air Force colonel with a bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering and engineering science and a master's in aeronautics and astronautics.
- Matthew Dominick, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in systems engineering.
- Bob Hines, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's in flight test engineering. He has served overseas and worked as a test pilot and a NASA research pilot.
- Warren Hoburg, who has a bachelor's degree in aeronautics and astronautics and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science. He is also a commercial pilot and has led research at NASA.
- Dr. Jonny Kim, a U.S. Navy lieutenant and former Navy SEAL. He has a degree in mathematics and a doctorate of medicine.
- Jasmin Moghbeli, a U.S. Marine Corps major with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's in aerospace engineering. She has worked testing H-1 helicopters.
- Loral O'Hara, who has a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics. She has worked as a research engineer testing deep-ocean submersibles and robots.
- Dr. Francisco "Frank" Rubio, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel with a bachelor's degree in international relations and a doctorate of medicine. He has completed over 1,100 hours as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and has served as a surgeon in the Army.
- Jessica Watkins, who has a bachelor's degree in geological and environmental sciences and a doctorate in geology. She has worked at a number of NASA facilities and collaborated on NASA's Curiosity rover.
The CSA candidates include:
- Joshua Kutryk, a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant colonel with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and master's degrees in space studies, flight test engineering and defense studies. He has been an experimental test pilot and a fighter pilot.
- Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons, who has an honors bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in engineering. She has conducted research on how flames work in microgravity in collaboration with CSA.
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