HYDERABAD: Days after being chosen by NASA for the lunar mission in 2024, Indian-American astronaut with roots in Telangana, Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari, has now been selected for another space mission.
Chari will be among three astronauts selected by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to serve as crew members for NASA SpaceX 3 crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch is scheduled for next year. “Excited and honored to have trained 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 has announced that Chari will serve as commander, Marshburn as pilot and Maurer as mission specialist. Another crew member will then be selected. “This will be the first space flight for Chari,” NASA said.
It will be Maurer’s first space trip
It will also be Maurer’s first space trip. “When Raja Chari, Marshburn and Maurer arrive at the orbiting laboratory, they will become members of the expedition’s crew for the duration of their six-month stay,” NASA said.
For more than 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the ISS advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making it impossible to make progress in earth research. As a global effort, 242 people from 19 countries visited the unique microgravity laboratory that hosted more than 3,000 research and educational surveys by researchers in 108 countries and areas, NASA said.
Raja Chari’s father, Srinivas Chari of Mahbubnagar, continued his studies at Osmania University in Hyderabad and later emigrated to the United States in the 1950s.
Chari was recently selected as one of 18 members of NASA’s “Artemis team” who planned a lunar exploration program for a human to stay on the moon. The mission also includes, as NASA put it, “going around the moon”.
Chari, who was born in Milwaukee, is a U.S. Air Force colonel with 2,500 flying hours and became a NASA astronaut in 2017.