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Indian-American Raja Chari among 18 astronauts selected for NASA’s manned Moon mission

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Raja Chari, 43, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, MIT, is the one Indian-American within the listing.

An Indian-American is among the 18 astronauts selected by NASA for its manned mission to the Moon and past.

NASA on Wednesday named the 18 astronauts — half of them ladies — who will practice for its Artemis moon-landing programme.

Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari, 43, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, MIT, and US Naval Test Pilot School, is the one Indian-American within the listing.

He was selected by NASA to hitch the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported for responsibility in August 2017 and having accomplished the preliminary astronaut candidate coaching is now eligible for a mission project.

“My fellow Americans, I give you the heroes of the future who will carry us back to the Moon and beyond: the Artemis Generation,” Vice President Mike Pence stated at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Wednesday.

“It really is amazing to think that the next man and the first woman on the Moon are among the names that we just read…We started today reflecting on a great hero of the past. The Artemis Generation are the heroes of American space exploration in the future, “ Mr. Pence said after he introduced the members of the Artemis Team during the eighth National Space Council meeting.

The astronauts on the Artemis Team come from a diverse range of backgrounds, expertise and experience. Most of the astronauts in the group are in their 30s or 40s. The oldest is 55, the youngest 32.

The agency’s modern lunar exploration programme will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish a sustainable human lunar presence by the end of the decade, NASA said.

NASA will announce flight assignments for astronauts later, pulling from the Artemis Team. Additional Artemis Team members, including international partner astronauts, will join this group, as needed.

“We are incredibly grateful for the president and vice president’s support of the Artemis program, as well as the bipartisan support for all of NASA’s science, aeronautics research, technology development, and human exploration goals,” stated NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

As a consequence, we’re excited to share this subsequent step in exploration — naming the Artemis Team of astronauts who will prepared the ground, which incorporates the primary lady and subsequent man to stroll on the lunar floor, he added.

The selected astronauts will assist NASA put together for the approaching Artemis missions, which start subsequent 12 months working with the company’s business companions as they develop human touchdown programs; aiding within the growth of coaching; defining {hardware} necessities; and consulting on technical growth. They additionally will interact the general public and trade on NASA’s exploration plans.

“There is so much exciting work ahead of us as we return to the moon, and it will take the entire astronaut corps to make that happen,” Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester stated.

“Walking on the lunar surface would be a dream come true for any one of us, and any part we can play in making that happen is an honour,” he stated.

The different members on the listing embody Christina Koch and Jessica Meir — the 2 astronauts who carried out the world’s first all-female spacewalk final 12 months.

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