Kathmandu: Next month Nasa will send a new crew into space. And for the first time there will be a Native American woman aboard.
According to a report publised by BBC news, Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann, of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes, will be mission commander – responsible for all phases of flight.
She will go to the International Space Station on 29 September, Nasa says.
According to the Indigenous Foundation, dreamcatchers symbolise unity and provide protection.
Mann will be with three colleagues on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as part of the Crew-5 mission.
She could also go to the Moon. In 2020 she was selected to be in a pool of astronauts eligible for Nasa’s Artemis programme that will send humans to the Moon.
Mann, originally from California, studied mechanical engineering at Stanford university.
She become a colonel in the Marine Corps, flying various fighter aircraft. She has been deployed twice on aircraft carriers supporting combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded six medals for her service to the US military.
This expedition will be Mann’s first spaceflight since she became an astronaut in 2013, Nasa confirms.
She is one of eight members of the 21st Nasa astronaut class, formed for space station operations and potential future assignments to the Moon and Mars.
This is the fifth rotational mission to the International Space Station where the team will conduct 250 scientific experiments which Nasa says will help benefit life on Earth and prepare for human exploration beyond the planet.
(News Source: BBC)