12 new astronauts get added to NASA’s active flight corps
Indian American Raja Chari is among the 12 new astronauts selected by NASA, to visit space in its future manned mission. Awarded the US Navy Test Pilot School Class 144 Outstanding Developmental Phase II Award and the Commander Willie McCool Outstanding Student Award as the Class 144 Honor Graduate.
Chari is from Iowa and he graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1999 with Bachelor’s degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He is married to Holly Schaffter Chari and they have three children.
The candidates will train for two years starting in August for missions that could include going into low Earth orbit or even deep space.
After completion of the two year NASA training, he will be allotted technical duties in the Astronaut office while he awaits flight assignment.
NASA had received a staggering 18,000 + applications for just 12 astronaut candidates, something that shows the huge interest among people for becoming astronauts and space travel.
The 12 candidates for NASA’s 2017 astronaut corps.
The new astronaut candidates or “ascans” were announced by Vice President Mike Pence and NASA leaders, including acting administrator Robert Lightfoot and director of flight operations Brian Kelly.
The astronaut class of 2017 includes doctors, scientists, engineers, pilots and military officers. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space. That is more than double the record number of 8,000.
O’Hara said choosing to study at Purdue was a “no-brainer” because of the nationally recognized programs of the university.
When the wait is over, the 2017 class could be assigned to missions aboard any of four different spacecraft, NASA officials added: the ISS, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule or NASA’s Orion vehicle. She enjoyed working with, among others, William Anderson, a professor in aeronautics and astronautics at that time, who taught her how to be a good researcher. Jessica Watkins, 29, has earned a doctorate in Geology.
Candidates were required to pass some physical requirements and also certain education and experience criteria such as having a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or accumulating up to 1,000 hours of piloting jets to be able to get selected.