US President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari on the moon mission team for promotion to Air Force brigadier general, according to the Defence Department.
The nomination announced on Thursday will have to be confirmed by the Senate which approves all senior civilian and military appointments. The US Air Force uses the same ranks as the Army, which considers brigadiers to be one-star generals.
Member of Artemis team of US moon mission
Chari is a member of the Artemis team of astronauts preparing for the US mission of returning to the moon.
In 2021, he commanded a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) crew to the International Space Station where he served for 177 days and conducted a spacewalk.
Before joining NASA, Chari was an Air Force test pilot with a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautics and astronautics.
Who is Raja Chari?
Raja Chari is an Indian-American astronaut and Brigadier General in the United States Air Force.
He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2017.
Chari was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and raised in both Iowa and Nebraska.
He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering.
Chari has served in various operational and leadership roles in the Air Force, including as a test pilot, instructor pilot, and flight commander.
He has flown over 2,000 hours in over 25 different aircraft.
Chari has a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air University.
In 2020, Chari was selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.
Chari served as the commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
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