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Artemis space mission includes Black female

Astronaut / geologist, Dr. Jessica Watkins. Courtesy NASA NASA selects Black geologist Jessica Watkins to 13 Artemis mission astronaut crew from pool of 18,000  LOS ANGELES — Thirteen astronauts eligible for selection to participate in missions to

Astronaut / geologist, Dr. Jessica Watkins. Courtesy NASA

NASA selects Black geologist Jessica Watkins to 13 Artemis mission astronaut crew from pool of 18,000 

LOS ANGELES — Thirteen astronauts eligible for selection to participate in missions to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the moon and even manned missions to Mars, include six women and seven men. Two candidates are from the Canadian Space Agency. The other 11 NASA candidates were selected from an initial pool of more than 18,000 applicants, the agency said.

Dr. Jessica Watkins. Courtesy JPL

Jessica Watkins is one of them.

Hailing from Lafayette, Colo, Watkins is a rare individual in the program, having earned a doctorate in geology and environmental sciences, and is the only African American among the group. She worked at NASA before becoming an astronaut in the space agency’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The geologist also worked on the Curiosity rover during her time at the California Institute of Technology.

Watkins is among 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.

As part of the process to become astronauts, Watkins and her fellow astronauts trained in robotics, systems used aboard the space station, exercises that simulate spacewalking, flying T-38 jets, and learning Russian due to NASA’s partnership with Roscosmos for launches to the space station and communicating with Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.

In addition to being eligible for spaceflight, Watkins and her comrades will also support those who are currently in the space station and develop spacecraft for future missions.

 

 

 

 

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