On Wednesday, NASA named the 12 men and women who made it to their 2017 astronaut candidate class. Of those lucky individuals, seven of them are from the United States military and they have some pretty impressive resumés. NASA received over a thousand applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, but these seven were among the absolute cream of the crop.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of San Diego. Dominick was deployed twice as a Naval fighter pilot to the North Arabian Sea, served as a developmental flight test project officer from 2013 to 2016 and has flown more than 1,600 flight hours in 61 combat missions.
Army Maj. Frank Rubio was born in Los Angeles, but raised in Miami and graduated from the United States Military Academy with a degree in international relations, as well as a Doctorate of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Rubio has served in the Army as a platoon leader, company commander, an executive medicine provider and a flight surgeon.
Former Navy SEAL Jonny Kim from Los Angeles was a combat medic, sniper, navigator and point man on more than 100 combat missions during two deployments to the Middle East, earning himself the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor, and the Bronze Star with “V” device, among other awards. Kim was also a resident physician in emergency medicine with Partners Healthcare at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Air Force Lt. Col. Raja Chari out of Cedar Falls, Iowa, graduated from the Air Force Academy with degrees in astronautical engineering and engineering science to add to his master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chari has more than 2,000 hours of flight time in the F-35, F-15, F-16 and F-18, including F-15E combat missions in Iraq and deployments to the Korean Peninsula. He had also been selected for promotion to colonel.
Marine Corps Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli originally hails from Germany but grew up in Baldwin, New York. She holds a degree in aerospace engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Moghbeli tested H-1 helicopters and served as the quality assurance and avionics officer for Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 in Yuma, Arizona.
Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Bob Hines of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania earned a degree in aerospace engineering from Boston University. Hines has been deployed to the Middle East and Europe numerous times as a pilot and has served as a flight test pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas. He was also the Air Force Reserve’s F-15E program test director and test pilot at the F-15 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force at Elgin.
Navy Lt. Kayla Barron from Richland, Washington, holds a degree in systems engineering from the U.S Naval Academy and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge in England. Barron completed three strategic deterrent patrols as a submarine warfare officer aboard the USS Maine, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.
Watch this video for all the details of what’s in store for these brave individuals: