PIO among NASA's new astronauts
Houston: Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari, an Indian-American US Air Force colonel, is among 11 new NASA graduates who have successfully completed their over two years' of basic astronaut training and are all set to be a part of the space agency's ambitious future missions to the International Space Station, Moon and Mars.
The successful astronauts were selected among 18,000 applicants in 2017 after NASA announced its Artemis programme.
Chari, 41, was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported for duty in August 2017 and having completed the initial astronaut candidate training is now eligible for a mission assignment. At a ceremony here on Friday, each new astronaut received a silver pin, a tradition dating back to the Mercury 7 astronauts, who were selected in 1959.
"2020 will mark the return of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil, and will be an important year of progress for our Artemis program and missions to the Moon and beyond," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "These individuals represent the best of America, and what an incredible time for them to join our astronaut corps," he said.
The astronauts will receive a gold pin once they complete their first spaceflights.
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