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.
Forget caps and gowns. They’ll get spacesuits.On Jan. 10, we graduate the 1st class of @NASA_Astronauts under #Artemis!
Six women and seven men will become eligible for assignments to the @Space_Station, the Moon & Mars.👨🚀 👩🚀 Get to know the new class: https://t.co/Jqh1zhhMFR pic.twitter.com/u7rzR0sNAt — NASA (@NASA) December 26, 2019
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 :
This is a great explanation of the Artemis program @NASA_Astronauts will use for the Moon & beyond.
@NASA put some really complex ideas into a format that even kids (or us adults that like cartoons) can understand.
How We Are Going to the Moon – 4K https://t.co/sBCTcGnlXF— Raja Chari (@Astro_Raja) January 7, 2020
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.