During this fall, NASA will send its next crew to SpaceX Dragon and the mission commander astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann will become the first Native American woman to travel to space. She will fly to the International Space Station, currently scheduled to launch on September 29th. She will be on the Crew 5 mission with NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina.

Nicole Aunapu Mann First Native American Women Travel to Space

Nicole Aunapu Mann
Image Credit: Nasa

Mann is borned in California and graduated from the United States Naval Academy. She currently holds the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. She earned her wings as a naval aviator and made her two deployments to aircraft carriers to fly combat support missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. In June 2013, Mann was selected by NASA as one of her eight members of NASA’s 21st Class of Astronauts. This class will focus on space station operations in advance of potential future missions to the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and ultimately Mars.

In a latest interview with Indian Country Today, Mann said “it`s very exciting” to be the primary Native lady in area. “I think it’s important that we communicate this to our community, so that other Native kids, if they thought maybe that this was not a possibility or to realize that some of those barriers that used to be there are really starting to get broken down,” she instructed the publication, which cited that she is an enrolled member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California.

While Mann will earn an area withinside the records books, NASA astronaut John Herrington, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, have become the primary Native American in area whilst he flew aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2002.

Mann’s NASA training consists of in-depth education in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, Russian language training, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training.

Mann has completed several awards, which include Air Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

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