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Indian-American Astronaut in NASA’s Programme that Eyes on Moon, Mars

Indian-American Astronaut in NASA Programme that Eyes on Moon, Mars

HOUSTON: An Indian-American US Air Force colonel, Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari, will be among astronauts who may get a chance to go to the moon or Mars following his graduation from Artemis program carried out predominately by NASA.

Chari is among 11 new NASA graduates who have successfully completed their two years of basic astronaut training.

The NASA graduates are all set to be a part of the space agency’s ambitious future missions to the International Space Station, Moon and Mars.

These 11 people were selected from 18,000 applicants for NASA’s Artemis program back in August 2017. The class also includes two Canadian Space Agency candidates, selected in 2017.

Know about the Artemis program :

All 11 graduates were given a silver pen at the event held at the Johnson Space Center on Friday. And according to NASA’s tradition, they will have to swap this pen with other astronauts once they go into space.

Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari is the third person of Indian-origin astronaut selected for an American space mission. Prior to that, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both women, have joined NASA’s mission.

In an interview, Chari, 41, said that he inherited the value of education from his father Sreenivas V. Chari who emigrated from Hyderabad.

Chari’s middle-class family migrated from Telangana’s backward Mahbubnagar district to Hyderabad in the 1950s. His father, Srinivas Chari, who studied engineering at Osmania University, flew to Wisconsin in the US in the 1970s for further studies.

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