The 18 members of NASA’s Moon landing mission, called the Artemis program, have been revealed, and four of their members are of Asian descent.
Who are the members: Vice President Mike Pence revealed the nine men and nine women members of the Artemis program at an event in Florida last week, according to BBC. Here are the four Asian American members of NASA’s moon landing mission for 2024.
An Iranian American astronaut who calls New York home and joined the Astronaut Candidate Class in 2017, Moghbeli reported for duty in August of that year. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, according to her NASA biography. Moghbeli is a Marine Corps pilot who has over 150 combat missions and 2,000 hours of flight time during her career.
Dr. Kjell N. Lindgren
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Dr. Kjell N. Lindgren was selected by NASA for work in June 2009 as part of the 20th NASA astronaut class. He served as Deputy Crew Surgeon for STS‐130 and Expedition 24. Lindgren received his Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Colorado. He was part of Expedition 44/45 and has logged 141 days in space where he participated in two spacewalks and conducted more than a hundred experiments. Lindgren is the only astronaut in this class who has already been to space.
Similar to Moghbeli, Raja Chari was also selected by NASA for the Astronaut Candidate Class in 2017 and reported for duty in August. An Iowa native and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Chari graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to get his master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Also a part of the 2017 class along with Chair and Moghbeli, Kim is a former Navy SEAL and a medical doctor who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2016. The Korean American soldier and astronaut completed over 100 combat operations and was the recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat “V,” according to his NASA biography. He is still on active duty as Navy Lieutenant at NASA.
More about the mission: The Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the next man to the Moon’s south pole in 2024 and explore more of our lunar satellite using innovative technologies and systems.
The program will help NASA demonstrate the “technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration including Mars.” It will also help establish American leadership and strategic presence on the Moon, learning more of it’s mysteries.
Beginning in 2021, NASA will send science instruments and technology demonstrations to the Moon through commercial Moon deliveries. Following the deliveries, NASA will launch the uncrewed Artemis I spacecraft, followed by a manned space mission on the Artemis II.
The Moon mission will prove pivotal in humanity’s future steps in space exploration as it could become a training ground for scientists where they learn how to live and operate on a surface of a different planet.
The program will also test out the technologies that astronauts can use for a future Mars mission.
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