CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA chose 12 new astronauts Wednesday from its biggest pool of applicants ever, hand-picking seven men and five women who could one day fly aboard the nation’s next generation of spacecraft.
The astronaut class of 2017 includes doctors, engineers, pilots and military officers from Anchorage to Miami and points in between. They’ve worked in submarines, emergency rooms, jet cockpits, and battleships. Range in age from 29 to 42, these men and women typically have led the pack.
Meet the seven military men and women training to be NASA’s next astronauts below.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Raja Chari
The Iowa native graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999 with Bachelor’s degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. Earning a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, Chari also completed the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
At the time of his NASA selection, Chari was a Colonel-select in the U.S. Air Force, serving as the Commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the Director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force.
Chari has accumulated more than 2,000 flight hours in the F-35, F-15, F-16, and F-18.
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Dominick
Dominick is a Colorado native with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
He graduated from U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has more than 1,600 hours of flight time in 28 aircraft, 400 carrier-arrested landings, and 61 combat missions.
At the time of his selection, Dominick on the USS Ronald Reagan serving as a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and a department head for Strike Fighter Squadron 115.
U.S. Navy Lt. Kayla Barron
A native of Richland, Washington, Barron graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in Systems Engineering.
A year later, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
After graduate school, Barron 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. She was among the first class of women commissioned into the submarine service and now works at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jonny Kim
Kim enlisted in the Navy as a Seaman following his high school graduation in 2002. After completion Naval Special Warfare training, he was assigned as a Special Warfare Operator to SEAL Team THREE in San Diego, California.
He served as a combat medic and sniper on more than 100 combat operations before accepting the Navy’s commissioning program in 2009.
Kim is currently a resident physician in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
U.S. Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Bob Hines
Bob Hines of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has served in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves for 18 years. He is currently a NASA research pilot at Johnson Space Center.
Hines earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, with a Master’s Degree in Flight Test Engineering, Hines continued to earn a second Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama.
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli
Moghbeli, a New York native, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology at MIT, followed by a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
She is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has accumulated more than 1,600 flight hours and supported 150 combat missions.
U.S. Army Maj. Frank Rubio
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Major Dr. Frank Rubio is a board certified family physician and flight surgeon.
Prior to attending medical school, he was a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot with more than 1,100 flight hours. At the time of his selection for NASA astronaut training, he was serving in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).