NASA added 11 new astronauts to its ranks in January. Get to know these scientists, engineers, doctors, and pilots in this week’s Mission Monday!
Five women and six men comprise NASA’s graduating astronaut class of 2020. This new class brings NASA’s current count of active astronauts in their corps to 48.
It is the first astronaut class to graduate since NASA announced its new Artemis program. The agency’s newest astronauts can now be assigned to missions which will take them to the International Space Station, the Moon and beyond.
Selected in 2017, these former astronaut candidates spent over two years in basic training. They are from a variety of military and academic backgrounds and were selected from a record-setting pool of over 18,000 applicants from across the United States.
The first woman and next man to set foot on the Moon under the Artemis program, and the first man and woman to travel to Mars, may be among this class of new astronauts. NASA aims for astronauts to return to the Moon to achieve sustainable lunar exploration by the end of the decade. Human exploration of Mars is planned to begin in the mid-2030s.
There’s a lot of exciting things happening at NASA and in human spaceflight history right now, and these recent graduates get a front row seat! We can’t wait to see what new, exciting missions NASA assigns these astronauts in the future. In the meantime, get to know the Artemis Generation below.
- Kayla Barron (Lieutenant, U.S. Navy)
- Zena Cardman
- Raja Chari (Colonel, U.S. Air Force)
- Matthew Dominick (Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy)
- Bob Hines (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force)
- Warren Hoburg
- Dr. Jonny Kim (Lieutenant, U.S. Navy)
- Jasmin Moghbeli (Major, U.S. Marine Corps)
- Loral O’Hara
- Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army)
- Jessica Watkins