Two of the Artemis 18 have Northwest roots

The Artemis astronauts: top row, left to right: Joe Acaba, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Victor Glover, Woody Hoburg; second row: Jonny Kim, Christina Koch, Kjell Lindgren, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir; third row: Jasmin Moghbeli, Kate Rubins, Frank Rubio, Scott Tingle, Jessica Watkins and Stephanie Wilson. NASA photos by Bill Stafford

On April 9, 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration publicly introduced Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, gentlemen of “the right stuff” who launched the United States on its journey to the moon.

Anne McClain

On December 9, 2020, NASA introduced 18 astronauts who will, by 2024, not only return man to the surface of the moon, but will this time let a woman touch the face of the moon. And two of the women selected grew up not far from here.

Vice President Mike Pence introduced the members of the Artemis Team Wednesday during the eighth National Space Council meeting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“I give you the heroes who will carry us to the Moon and beyond – the Artemis Generation,” Pence said. “It is amazing to think that the next man and first woman on the Moon are among the names that we just read. The Artemis Team astronauts are the future of American space exploration – and that future is bright.”

Anne McClaine has gone from her home in Spokane to space aboard the Russian Soyuz. A graduate of Gonzaga Prep and West Point, she was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 2002 and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying more than 800 combat hours on 216 missions as a helicopter pilot and later added qualifications in multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft.

She had just completed training at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School when she was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 2013.

She has logged more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and is a rated pilot and instructor pilot in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and a rated pilot in the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Blackhawk, and UH-72 Lakota.

McClain most recently served as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 58 and 59.

Kayla Barron

Kayla Barron calls Richland, Washington, home, but she was born in Pocatello. She graduated from Richland High School in 2006 and graduated from the U .S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering in 2010.

She earned her masters in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, in 2011, as a 2010 Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy, attended the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power and submarine officer training before being assigned to the USS Maine, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine homeported in Bangor, Washington. Barron qualified as a submarine warfare officer and completed three strategic deterrent patrols while serving as a division officer aboard the Maine. At the time of her selection, Barron was serving as the Flag Aide to the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

As a Submarine Warfare Officer, Barron was a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community.

She joined NASA in 2017 and completed two years of training as an astronaut candidate.

The other 16 astronauts of the Artimis Program are:

Joseph Acaba, selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004. He has spent 306 days in space and performed three spacewalks. The Anaheim, California, native holds a bachelor’s degree in geology, as well as master’s degrees in geology and education. Before coming to NASA, he taught high school science and middle school math and science.

Raja Chari, who joined the astronaut corps in 2017. A colonel in the U.S. Air Force, he was raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He received a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School graduate worked on F-15E upgrades and then the F-35 development program, before coming to NASA.

Matthew Dominick, chosen as an astronaut in 2017. Born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, he holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in systems engineering. He also graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was a developmental test pilot specializing in aircraft carrier launches and landings before coming to NASA.

Victor Glover, selected as an astronaut in 2013. The Pomona, California, native and U.S. Navy Commander earned a bachelor’s degree in general engineering and master’s degrees in flight test engineering, systems engineering, and military operational art and science. He piloted the Crew-1 Dragon Resilience and is currently serving as an Expedition 64 flight engineer aboard the International Space Station.

Warren Hoburg, who joined the astronaut corps in 2017. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science. Before coming to NASA, he was an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a seasonal member of the Yosemite Search and Rescue team.

Jonny Kim, who came to NASA as part of the 2017 astronaut class. The Los Angeles, California, native enlisted in the U.S. Navy following high school. He became a Navy SEAL before earning his commission and going back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, followed by a doctor of medicine.

Christina Hammock Koch, selected as an astronaut in 2013 and holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman, with 328 days in space and six spacewalks. She grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and received bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering.

Kjell Lindgren, chosen as an astronaut in 2009. He spent 141 days in space and performed two spacewalks. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, he holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in cardiovascular physiology and a doctor of medicine. Before becoming an astronaut, he was a flight surgeon supporting space shuttle and space station missions.

Nicole A. Mann, who joined the astronaut corps in 2013 and is currently training as pilot for the Crew Flight Test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. Born in Petaluma, California, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. The U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel was an F/A-18 fighter pilot and graduate from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

Jessica Meir, chosen as an astronaut in 2013. She has spent 205 days in space and performed three spacewalks. A native of Caribou, Maine, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in space studies, and a doctorate in marine biology. Before coming to NASA, she studied the physiology of animals in extreme environments.

Jasmin Moghbeli, who joined the astronaut corps in 2017. A major in the U.S. Marine Corps, she was raised in Baldwin, New York. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering. She also graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and tested H-1 helicopters before she came to NASA.

Kate Rubins, chosen as an astronaut in 2009 and is currently orbiting Earth on her second flight aboard the International Space Station. She was raised in Napa, California, and holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a doctorate in cancer biology. She was the first person to sequence DNA in space and has performed two spacewalks.

Frank Rubio, selected as part of the 2017 astronaut class. The U.S. Army lieutenant colonel considers Miami, Florida, his hometown. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a doctor of medicine. He served as both a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and a flight surgeon in the Army before coming to NASA.

Scott Tingle, who came to NASA to join the 2009 astronaut class. The U.S. Navy captain has spent 168 days in space and performed one spacewalk. He considers Randolph, Massachusetts, his hometown and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. He also graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School.

Jessica Watkins, who joined the astronaut corps in 2017. The Lafayette, Colorado, native received a bachelor’s degree in geological and environmental sciences, and a doctorate in geology. Before becoming an astronaut, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where she served as a member of the science team for the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.

Stephanie Wilson, chosen as an astronaut in 1996. A veteran of three space shuttle flights, she has spent 42 days in space. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. Before becoming an astronaut, she worked on the Galileo spacecraft at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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