Korean American included in NASA's future Moon, Mars exploration program

Pablo Tucker
January 13, 2020

Together with 11 US colleagues, the two Canadians celebrated that transition Friday with a formal graduation before National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials and media - something that the USA space agency has not done in the past. It was noted that exciting opportunities await all members of the Astronaut Office, and that wonderful accomplishments can be achieved even on one's first flight, referring to Christina Koch's inaugural and now record-breaking mission aboard the International Space Station, which is still underway.

This year's graduating class was the first to be supervised by Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, a former Combat Operations Officer at 4-Wing in Cold Lake.

The silver pins are handed over as a tradition since 1959 and once they complete their first space mission, golden pins are awarded.

The team, called the "Turtles", put on blue trip one-piece suits and also took turns coming close to the platform to get their silver astronaut pins, as their fellow schoolmates commemorated their personality in the first-ever public graduation ceremony.

Gold pin will be available after the first spacecraft flight Astronauts will receive a gold pin after the completion of their first spacecraft flight.

Canada's newest astronauts Jennifer Sidey and Joshua Kutryk answer questions from the audience during a visit to the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Que., Tuesday, July 4, 2017. NASA continues its work aboard the space station, which, in November, will celebrate 20 consecutive years of human occupation.

Chari said he was inspired by his father Srinivas Chari, who came to the USA at a young age from Hyderabad, for an engineering degree, with the goal of getting a higher education and making a successful career.

The successful astronauts were selected among 18,000 applicants in 2017 after NASA announced its Artemis programme. "With a goal of sustainable lunar exploration later this decade, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the surface on the Moon by 2024", the space agency said in a release. It was here that he met his future wife and spent his entire career at John Deere in Waterloo.

The recently completed core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), which measures 212 feet from end to end and more than 27 feet in diameter, was to be taken to the Stennis Space Center in MS, about 50 miles northeast of New Orleans, The Associated Press reported.

After more than two years of training, the first class of NASA astronaut candidates under the agency's program to land the first woman and next man on the moon have graduated.

The company is already set to try out a version of the system that is designed for Mars exploration during field tests in Iceland later this year.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says that " They are best if the best, highly qualified and very diverse and they represent all of America".

He also graduated from the Navy's Test Pilot School.

Loral O'Hara from Houston has a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering and a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Chari's wife Holly is a resident of Cedar Falls and has three children.

The NASA training included space station simulators, robotics proficiency and learning how to speak Russian, which Kutryk called "a huge challenge".

He is a physician in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and was accepted into NASA's Astronaut Group 22 candidate list in June 2017.

It will undergo tests at Stennis ahead of the first Artemis launch, now planned for 2021, according to Tony Castilleja, a systems engineer with the Boeing Space Team.

Other reports by iNewsToday