Hyderabad: Days after NASA selected it for the lunar mission in 2024, Indian-American astronaut with roots in Telangana, Raja Von Vurputoor Charihas now been selected for another space mission.
Chari will be among three astronauts selected by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to be crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The start is planned for next year. “Excited and honored to train in preparation for the trip,” Chari said in a tweet.
He will train with two other astronauts – Rom Marshburn and Mathhias Maurer – who have been selected for the mission to the ISS. NASA announced that Chari will serve as the commander, Marshburn as the pilot and Mason as the mission specialist. Another crew member will also be selected later. “This will be the first space flight for Chari,” said NASA.
It will also be Maurer’s first tip for space.
“When Raja Chari, Marshburn and Maurer arrive at the orbit laboratory, they will become expedition crew members for the duration of their six-month stay,” said NASA.
For more than 20 years, people have been living and working continuously on board the ISS to further develop scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies, so that research breakthroughs on Earth are not possible. As a global endeavor, 242 people from 19 countries visited the unique microgravity laboratory, where more than 3,000 research and educational studies were conducted by researchers from 108 countries and areas, NASA said.
Raja Chari’s father Srinivas Chari from Mahbubnagar studied at Osmania University in Hyderabad and later emigrated to the USA in the 1950s.
Chari was recently selected as one of NASA’s 18-strong ‘Artemis Team’ that has planned a lunar exploration program for a human to stay on the moon. The mission also includes, as NASA said, “going around the moon”.
Chari, born in Milwaukee, is a US Air Force Colonel with 2,500 flight hours and became a NASA astronaut in 2017.