It is truly a proud moment for every Indian student aspiring to become an Astronaut as Indian-American Raja Chari got selected by NASA for SpaceX Mission! Becoming the third Indian – American in Space, Chari has been chosen as one of the three astronauts by NASA for their SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. He will be serving as the commander for this mission which is expected to launch in Fall 2021.
Raja Chari will be joined by astronauts Tom Marshburn and Matthias Maurer, as soon as they enter the orbiting laboratory, this team of 3 will become expedition crew for six-months. This will be a part of the third crew rotation of SpaceX.
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Raja Chari who became an astronaut in the year 2017, will be commandeering his first spaceflight in 2021. As the only Indian-American selected by NASA for SpaceX mission 2021, Chari was born and brought up in Milwaukee, Raja Chari considers Iowa as his hometown, he studied astronautical engineering and has a master’s in Aeronautics.
Raja Chari’s father Sreenivas V Chari had immigrated from Hyderabad to the US in search of better opportunities. He joined the astronaut corps in 2017 and currently is a US Air Force colonel with a lot of experience as a test pilot. In fact, he has over 2500 hours of flight time over the course of his career. He was among the 11 graduates at NASA who successfully completed their basic astronaut training in the year 2020.
Raja Chari is also a member of the NASA Artemis Team which makes him eligible for any further assignments to a lunar mission, possibly in the year 2024. The main aim of the SpaceX mission is to provide safe, reliable and affordable access to the space station and allow a low-Earth orbit as well.
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This mission will be a milestone in NASA’s programs as it will allow all commercial transportation to and from the space station, an extended utility, more time for research and greater opportunities. As one of the only three Indian-American astronauts, Chari getting selected by NASA for SpaceX mission is truly inspiring! Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more such informative news and updates from all around the world!