From SpaceX to NASA: New Astronaut Robb Kulin's Path to Space

Pablo Tucker
August 18, 2019

NASA has introduced a fresh batch of 12 new astronauts, among whom Indian-American Lieutenant Colonel Raja Chari is one.

"University of San Diego, having astronauts, wow. we've had CEOs, CIOs and other important people graduate from our program, but having astronauts that's just really cool", said Dr. Chell Roberts, USD's Dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

It's the 22nd astronaut class since the first induction of the Mercury Seven by NASA in 1959.

Under Trump, "America will lead in space once again, and the world will marvel", Pence said.

The astronauts have two years of training before they are eligible for flight assignments.


According to Hindustan Times, the 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX, and a NASA research pilot.

He continued on to earn a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School.

Costa Rican-American Franklin Chang Diaz, NASA's first Latin American-born astronaut although he became a USA citizen in 1977, is one of the men who has spent the most time in space, flying on seven missions between 1986 and 2002.

After Kalpana Chawla, there had been no person of Indian origin to join NASA as an Astronaut Candidate. He also promised Nasa all help to "make history". 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.

"The courage of these men and women, and all the astronauts who have gone before, inspires me to this very day", Pence said. He has served in the US Air Force and Air Force Reserves for 18 years.


- Robb Kulin, an Alaska native, is a senior manager for flight reliability at Hawthorne-based aerospace company SpaceX, where he began working in 2011.

Kim, who is from Los Angeles, now lives in Massachusetts and is a resident physician in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before that, he worked as an ice driller in Antarctica.

Loral O'Hara, a 34-year-old research engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, who calls Sugar Land, Texas, home. He earned a Doctorate of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Rubio, whose previous experience includes serving as an Army family physician and flight surgeon, is now assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado as a surgeon for the 3 Battalion of the 10 Special Forces Group.

Jessica Watkins, a 28-year-old postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she collaborates on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory for the Curiosity rover.


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