Sunday, 26 January, 2020

NASA, Eyeing Moon, Hosts First Public Astronaut Graduation Ceremony

Employees and contractors watch as the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System rocket that will be used for the Artemis 1 Mission is moved to the Pegasus barge at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility where it was built in New Orleans. (AP Massive NASA rocket part to be ferried up Mississippi River on barge
Sandy Nunez | 13 January, 2020, 12:56

"NASA's SLS rocket is created to evolve so a variety of missions can be accomplished first to the Moon for the Artemis missions and then to Mars and other deep space destinations".

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 astronauts were also handed a silver pin, a tradition dating back to the Mercury 7 astronauts, who were selected in 1959.

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.

Both Lt. -Col Kutryk, 37, and Dr. Sidey-Gibbons, 32, received astronaut pins, which indicate their flight-ready status. Two candidates come from the Canadian Space Agency.

They are the first to graduate since NASA announced the Artemis program to return to the Moon by 2024, this time on its south pole, as the United States plans to place the next man and first woman on lunar soil and set up an orbital space station.

Chari's father settled in Hyderabad He has been inspired by his father Srinivas Chari, who came to the USA from Hyderabad at an early age for his engineering degree, with the goal of pursuing higher education and forging a successful career. He and Moghbeli were two of the five people of color in the graduating class of 11, selected from a record-breaking 18,000 applicants. NASA hopes to send the first woman and the next man to the surface of the Moon by 2024. He met his wife and spent entire career at John Deere in Waterloo.

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Chari, whose father Sreenivas V. Chari migrated to the U.S. from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, believes "school and education is a privilege, not a right" that he never took lightly, media reports quoted the 42-year-old astronaut as saying. He said, I had a childhood focus on education and being that, you really needed to do well to be successful.

Joshua Kutryk, a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant colonel, has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degrees in space studies, flight test engineering, and defense studies.

The 13 astronauts (11 NASA astronauts and two Canadian Space Agency astronauts) who graduated today join the active astronauts in NASA's astronaut corps who are eligible to be assigned to fly on the first crewed mission to the moon since 1972.

"These individuals represent the best of America, and what an incredible time for them to join our astronaut corps", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement.

Fast forward almost two years and Lieutenant-Colonel Kutryk, a former test pilot, along with fellow Albertan Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, is part of the latest cohort of astronauts to complete basic training, a milestone that means they are now eligible to fly in space. Additional lunar missions are planned once a year thereafter and human exploration of Mars is targeted for the mid-2030s.

Dr. Francisco "Forthright" Rubio, a U.S. Armed force lieutenant colonel with a four year college education in worldwide relations and a doctorate of medication.

According to CNN, the spacefarers had to go through a rigorous process that included training in robotics, spacewalking simulation exercises, flight lessons on T-38 trainer jet, familiarisation of systems onboard the ISS and instruction in the Russian language to communicate with their Cosmonaut counterparts.