Astronaut Callie Rodriguez helps deploy a lunar telescope in NASA's new online graphic novel

illustration showing two astronauts in white spacesuits standing side by side with their helmets off.
"First Woman: Expanding Our Universe." (Image credit: NASA)

NASA aims to inspire future space explorers in fresh and innovative ways. 

Case in point: Fictional astronaut Callie Rodriguez advances her outer space exploration mission as the first woman to step onto the moon in a brand-new issue of NASA's "First Woman" digital graphic novel series, "First Woman: Expanding our Universe."

In this second installment, available now at the "First Woman" website, readers will discover how Callie and her fellow astronauts work together as a unit to overcome various obstacles while trying to install a next-generation telescope on the far side of the moon.

Related: NASA's 1st interactive graphic novel 'First Woman' tells of one girl's dream to walk on the moon

"First Woman: Expanding Our Universe" is the second in a series of NASA interactive graphic novels. (Image credit: NASA)

Currently published online in English and Spanish, "First Woman: Expanding Our Universe" chronicles the activities of Callie and her team of diverse crewmates as they confront the unknown, make scientific discoveries and accomplish their specific mission objectives.

"Diversity is at the core of NASA's missions, and the reason we continue breaking the boundaries of what's possible. 'First Woman' embodies the rich history of countless women who broke barriers and continue to lead NASA to the stars," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement on Thursday (Oct. 26). 

"So much of what NASA does is to inspire future explorers, because each member of the Artemis Generation should feel represented in our missions," Nelson said, referring to NASA's Artemis program of lunar exploration. "Callie's story reminds us that we will do what has never been done before — land the first woman on the moon, and it will inspire the world."

In 2021's "First Woman" premiere installment, "Dream To Reality," Callie and her trusty robot RT were holed up safely inside a lunar lava tunnel. Fans can dive back into the moon-based adventure by hopping onto the redesigned "First Woman" website, which also features a new Spanish-language option, or NASA's upgraded "First Woman" app that can be downloaded on Android and iOS.

"Callie is an inspirational character for underrepresented communities and, as a person of Indian descent with young children, I deeply understand the power of a diverse fanbase seeing a place for themselves within our ambitious missions. To solve the many challenges of sustainable lunar exploration, we need innovative ideas from diverse sources and non-traditional communities," Prasun Desai, acting associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in the same statement. 

"We continue that aspirational theme with our second issue, diving further into the crew's complex mission and personal backgrounds while expanding a wealth of interactive, multilingual science, technology, engineering and mathematics content across our digital platforms," Desai said.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.