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Four astronauts with ties to MIT named to NASA’s Artemis team

Biology

Four astronauts with ties to MIT named to NASA’s Artemis team

On Dec. 9, NASA announced a group of 18 astronauts to form the newly-established Artemis team, including three alumni from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a former research fellow from the Whitehead Institute.
Raja Chari SM ’01, Jasmin Moghbeli ’05, Warren “Woody” Hoburg ’08, and Kate Rubins will help tackle the preparations necessary for early moon missions to help establish a modern lunar exploration program. Under the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024, with the ultimate goal of establishing a long-term human presence on the lunar surface by the end of 2029.
Raja Chari SM ’01
Chari received his master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. As a colonel in the U.S Air Force, he has accumulated more than 2,000 hours of flight time in the F-35, F-15, F-16, and F-18 aircraft, including F-15E combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployments in support of the Korean peninsula. Before joining the astronaut corps in 2017, Chari worked on F-15E upgrades and then the F-35 development program.
“For the Artemis mission, they are not just PowerPoint slides, there is actually metal that is being bent, shaped, and formed to build the things that we’re going to use. Newton talks about standing on the shoulders of giants, and I’m definitely not a giant, but if I can throw a little stepping stone out there, that would be my goal,” says Chari.

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