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These will be the first astronauts to travel to Mars

On Friday, January 10, 2020, NASA welcomed 13 new astronauts; the first to graduate since the Artemis program was announced, which aims to bring the first woman and man to the surface of the moon in 2024. With plans for lunar missions each year, representing the first step in preparing for the jump giant to Mars sometime in the 2030s.

The group, which was chosen from more than 18,000 applications, includes six women and seven men, two of them astronauts from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). During the ceremony at the Johnson Space Center of the American Space Agency in Houston, each of the graduates received a silver pin symbolizing the Mercury 7, the first group of NASA astronauts to be selected in 1959 dedicated to manned missions. from the United States.

“These people represent the best of America, and what an incredible time for them to join our astronaut corps,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

 

The turtles

The graduates, nicknamed the “Turtles,” after a metaphor Vice President Mike Pence used when the astronaut class was originally announced in 2017, is the first class of astronauts to graduate under the Artemis program, which also encompasses development and upgrade. of technologies for the lunar orbit platform gateway, the Orion spacecraft, and missions that will send astronauts to Mars and perhaps beyond.

The 13 astronauts are already eligible to be assigned to fly in the first manned mission to the Moon since 1972. And the next moon landing will be special, not only because it will be the first after many decades, but also because it will be the first lunar mission. which includes a crew with gender diversity.

For two years, the candidates have been trained in instruction, practice and tests in spacewalks, robotics, International Space Station systems, mastery of the T-38 jet and the Russian language.

“As astronauts, you will help develop spacecraft, support teams currently in space, and ultimately join the ranks of the approximately 500 people who have had the honor of going into space.

20 years on the ISS

Artemis will be the second major series of missions to the moon operated by the US space agency. The Apollo missions ran between 1968 and 1972 and sent nine human missions to the moon. Six landed, allowing 12 men to walk on the surface. In this case, Artemis is a much more complex program than the Apollo missions, as it is a public-private partnership, has multiple layers, and uses more robotics than previous flights.

NASA continues its work aboard the space station and will celebrate 20 consecutive years of human occupation on the ISS in November 2020.

Including the current class, NASA has 48 active astronauts in its corps and the agency plans to open applications for new astronaut candidates in the spring.

 

Who are the American astronauts?

Kayla Barron – Lieutenant in the US Navy.

Zena Cardman – biologist

Raja Chari – Colonel in the US Air Force.

Matthew Dominick – Lieutenant Commander of the US Navy.

Bob Hines – Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force.

Warren Hoburg – Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Dr. Jonny Kim – Lieutenant in the US Navy.

Jasmin Moghbeli – commander of the US Marine Corps.

Loral O’Hara – Master in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio – US Army Lieutenant Colonel.

Jessica Watkins – Collaborated on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.

 

Its diversity contrasts with the early years of space exploration , which was predominantly made up of white men (including the 12 people who have walked on the moon), until Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983 and Screenplay Bluford in the first black astronaut the same year.

 

Reference: NASA

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