Indian-American Raja Chari To Be on SpaceX’s Crew-3 Mission

This will be the first spaceflight for Chari, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017.

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Chari, a colonel in the US Air Force, joined the astronaut corps in 2017.
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Indian-American Raja Chari has been named as one among the three astronauts selected by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) who will serve as a crew member for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2021. Chari will serve as the mission’s commander.

This will be the first spaceflight for Chari, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017.

 Indian-American Raja Chari To Be on SpaceX’s Crew-3 Mission

Born in Milwaukee, Raja Chari considers Cedar Falls, Iowa, his hometown. He is a colonel in the US. Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time in his career.

Earlier this month, Chari was also selected to be a member of the NASA Artemis Team, making him eligible for assignment to a future lunar mission.

On the Crew-3 Mission, Chari will be joined by Tom Marshburn who will serve as pilot on the mission, along with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. When they arrive at the orbiting laboratory, this team of astronauts will become expedition crew members for the duration of their six-month stay.

This will be the third crew rotation mission of SpaceX’s human space transportation system and its fourth flight with astronauts to the space station through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

"The goal of the program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective crew access to the space station and low-Earth orbit in partnership with American aerospace industry", says NASA's website.

"Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time, and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost."

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