Astronaut and Marine Colonel Nicole Aunupu Mann will be the first Native American woman in space when NASA's next crew arrives at the International Space Station in October

Astronaut and Marine Colonel Nicole Onap Mann will be the first Native American woman in space

Astronaut and Marine Colonel Nicole Aunapu Mann will become the first Native American in space when NASA sends its crew to the International Space Station in October female

  • Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann to become first Native American woman in space in October
  • “I’m very proud,” Mann said. “It’s important that we celebrate our diversity and really communicate that specifically to the younger generation.”
  • Mann, Wairakei of Northern California’s Round Valley Indian Tribe, will join the next crew rotation on the International Space Station
  • She flew combat missions before being recruited by NASA in 2013 and trained extensively for her space missions

When NASA’s next crew arrives at the International Space Station in October, astronaut and Marine Colonel Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native American woman in space.

Mann flew U.S. combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan before being recruited by NASA in 2013 and completing her candidate training two years later.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s well worth it,” Mann, a Wailacki member of Northern California’s Round Valley Indian Tribe, told Reuters.

Astronaut and Marine Colonel Nicole Aunupu Mann will be the first Native American woman in space when NASA’s next crew arrives at the International Space Station in October

Mann flew U.S. combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan before being recruited by NASA in 2013 and completing her candidate training two years later

Mann flew U.S. combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan before being recruited by NASA in 2013 and completing her candidate training two years later

Mann’s NASA training includes intensive instruction in ISS systems, spacewalks, Russian language training, robotics, and physiology training.

“I’m very proud,” Mann said. “It’s important that we celebrate our diversity and really communicate that specifically to the younger generation.”

Mann will be the first Native American woman in space. In 2002, the first Native American to go into space was John Herrington.

She holds degrees from the U.S. Naval Academy and Stanford University, and during her military career was a test pilot for the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s well worth it,” Mann, a Wailacki member of Northern California’s Round Valley Indian Tribe, told Reuters

She'll be on track with some memorabilia to remind her to come home, including a

She’ll be on track with some memorabilia to remind her to come home, including a “dream catcher,” a traditional Native American protection amulet

The distinction has sparked excitement in her community, she said.

“I think it’s really an audience that we don’t have the opportunity to reach very often,” explained Mann, who received two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

Mann will launch Oct. 3 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and replacing Crew-4 from the International Space Station

Mann will launch Oct. 3 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and replacing Crew-4 from the International Space Station

She’ll be on track with some memorabilia to remind her of what it’s like to be home, including a “dream catcher,” a traditional Native American protection talisman.

Mann, along with NASA astronauts Josh Cassada, Japan’s Koichi Wakata and Russian astronaut Anna Kikina, will launch Oct. 3 aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to replace the Crew-4 from the International Space Station.

The mission will follow the launch of NASA’s Artemis 1, which the space agency recently moved to Saturday afternoon after an engine failure on Monday.

NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule are part of the United States’ long-term goal of getting boots on the lunar surface within the next two years.

“The work we do in low-Earth orbit not only trains astronauts, but provides the technology development and operational concepts we’ll need to sustain our presence on the moon and ultimately take us to Mars, “she says.

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