Indian-Origin Anil Menon Among 10 New Astronauts For NASA’s Moon Mission

Pic Credit (@NASA_Johnson/Twitter)

NASA on Monday announced the names of 10 new astronaut candidates to represent the US and work for NASA’s future missions and, among them is the Indian-origin Anil Menon, a lieutenant colonel with the US Air Force and SpaceX’s first flight surgeon. The new astronaut candidates have been chosen from over 12,000 applicants.

Anil Menon was selected to join the 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class and will report for duty in January 2022 to complete two years of initial astronaut training. Menon was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Ukrainian and Indian immigrants. He started as a NASA flight surgeon in 2014 and has supported four long-duration crew members on the International Space Station as the deputy crew surgeon.

In 2018, Menon joined SpaceX where he started its medical program and helped prepare for the company’s first human flights.

Apart from Menon, Nasa has selected nine others for future missions to be trained as astronauts. The nine new candidates are:

  • US Air Force Maj. Nichole Ayers
  • US Air Force Maj. Marcos Berríos
  • US Marine Corps Maj. (retired.) Luke Delaney
  • US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Wittner
  • US Navy Lt. Deniz Burnham
  • US Navy Cmdr. Jack Hathaway
  • Christopher Williams
  • Christina Birch
  • Andre Douglas

The astronauts will go through two years of rigorous training before being inducted into missions ranging from research onboard the International Space Station to landing on the lunar surface and then to Mars.

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