Three women make up most female class ever chosen by the space agency
Washington, DC: A US space agency has selected the 10 astronauts who will attend training, the astronauts slated to perform the majority of upcoming missions to the International Space Station.
Each will join an already-rotating team that orbits the Earth 250 miles (400km) above it, including six men and four women, including a new generation of female astronauts.
“We have selected the most diverse class of astronauts in NASA’s history. I’m proud of our 10 new heroes. They’re the best of the best. We’re ready to go,” said Shannon Walker, who was nominated as the first woman in NASA’s history to fly into space.
Walker, 35, of Fairbanks, Alaska, will join the new class of astronauts, which includes pilots, doctor, physicist, bike rider and cyclist.
The graduates are:
Nominal or inflationary salaries are not available for the new class. The previous six astronaut classes included three women. In addition to Walker, five others are women.
Data from the Federal Aviation Administration also shows just 16% of airline pilots are women.
“There are both positive and negative impacts of the gender divide in the aviation industry. Women are more likely to pursue major different forms of education and career paths. Additionally, they become more aware of the material and financial choices that exist when they are doing this career,” Megan McCloskey, a sociologist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said.
In the US military, women are currently barred from serving on the frontlines, but they can join special operations units and work on some military missions.
The 10 astronauts selected and due to attend training at Johnson Space Center are:
• Andrew Feustel
Feustel joined Nasa in 2004 as a materials scientist. He is on the route to becoming a NASA astronaut. He is also a member of the 2017 class of NASA’s Astronaut Candidate.
• Christina Hammock Koch
Feustel’s cousin is John Krasinski.
• Thomas Marshburn
He grew up in Winthrop, Maine, and did undergraduate studies at Brown University. He has bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and neuroscience. He is a pilot in the US Navy and a commander of the US Navy Test Pilot School.
• Greg Chamitoff
Greg Chamitoff, 47, from Montana, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical and health education from Montana State University in 1986. He has also completed missions on the Freedom 7, Freedom 8, Freedom 17 and Reliant Mars.
• Nicole Mann
Mann grew up in San Antonio and is from the area named “The Space City”. She is a cosmonaut trainer. She took her first spacewalk on the Soyuz MS-07 capsule in 2014.
• Megan McArthur
McArthur is a test pilot and holds doctorate degrees in astrophysics and mathematics. She entered the test pilot training academy in 2003.
• Sunita Williams
Williams is the first woman in history to walk in space.
• Kate Rubins
Rubins is a physician who studied radiology and medical physics in college. She held several astronaut astronaut positions in the US Marine Corps including 2005 and 2006. She is currently the deputy project scientist for the Spacelyr Trip to Mars (StratOne) mission.