Nicole Mann: First Native American woman astronaut in space

Marine Colonel Nicole Mann is set to become the first Native American woman in space following a Nasa launch. Nicole Mann will create history by becoming the second Native American who travelled to space following John Herrington in 2002.

Nicole Mann becomes First Native American Astronaut in space
Nicole Mann becomes First Native American Astronaut in space

A US astronaut Marine Colonel Nicole Mann is set to become the first Native American woman in space following a Nasa launch on October 5, 2022. She is one of the four astronauts who blasted off from Florida at midday bound for the International Space Station.

Nicole Mann will create history by becoming the second Native American who travelled to space following John Herrington in 2002. 

Who is Nicole Mann?

  1. Nicole Mann was born on June 27, 1977, in Petaluma, California. She belongs to the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes.
  2. Aunapu Mann completed her mechanical engineering at the United States Naval Academy. 
  3. Mann has also done her master’s degree in the same discipline in fluid mechanics from Stanford University.
  4. NASA selected Nicole Mann to be an astronaut in 2013. Earlier she used to work as a colonel in the US Marine Corps.
  5. Mann has done various training including intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, robotics, T-38 flight training, physiological training, spacewalks, wilderness survival, and Russian language training. 
  6. She has over 2,500 flight hours in 25 types of aircraft and 200 carrier landings. Mann has also flown 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  7. She completed her astronaut training in 2015 and in August 2018, she was assigned to Boe-CFT, the first crewed test flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner.
  8. Mann was also reassigned to the SpaceX Crew-5 and became the first female commander of a NASA Commercial Crew Program launch. 
  9. She has been awarded six medals for her service and has been posted to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mann’s mission to space: Significance

  1. The mission would inspire future generations of Native Americans.
  2. Colonel Mann has to wait for years to make her debut in space after completing her training. 
  3. Mann was earlier assigned to a mission in Boeing’s Starliner capsule but the vehicle was so late getting into service that NASA decided to pull her across to “Crew 5”.
  4. Since Mann is allowed to bring a limited amount of personal items, she has planned to bring her wedding ring, photographs, and a reminder of her family’s Native American roots.
  5. The other members of the crew include John Cassada, Koichi Wakata, and cosmonaut Anna Kikina. The four are set to spend 6 months on the ISS.
  6. While Col Man, Mr. Cassada, and Ms. Kikina have never been to space before, Mr. Wakata is an experienced flyer and has been to orbit four times already.

Women in Space

The first woman to visit Space was Valentina Tereshkova in 1963. Approx 12% of the space travelers were women by 2019. And as of April 2022, there were 73 women with completed spaceflights.  Some of the women who went into space include Kayla Barron, Shannon Walker, Jessica Meir, Anne McClain, Sunita Williams, and much more.

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