It will be launched into space with the SpaceX Crew 4 mission in April 2022. Watkins was selected as a candidate astronaut in 2017. Since then he has been preparing for his first space mission.
The other three crew members on the mission include the astronauts NASA Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Samantha Cristoforetti from the European Space Agency (ESA). This is the fourth rotation of the crew from the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.
The team will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The astronauts will spend six months in the ISS microgravity laboratory doing scientific research.
Before becoming an astronaut, Watkins attended Stanford University in California and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and environmental science. He then received his PhD in geology from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Watkins began his career at NASA through an internship program. He previously held positions at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
He served on the science team for the Rover Curiosity at Mars Science Laboratory while working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
“Geology gave me the opportunity to study the surfaces of other planets and especially to see Mars, which is my passion,” Watkins said on the NASA video. CNN, Monday (22/11).
Some of his NASA colleagues congratulated Watkins on his new role and his space trip. “Congratulations to my friend and teammate Jessica Watkins. He’ll be a great crew member for @SpaceX Crew-4, ”said NASA astronaut Jonny Kim.
History of the pioneers
Countless colored people have paved the way for Watkins to make his dreams come true over the past half century. DR. Bernard Harris Jr. spent decades recruiting minority and female astronauts, becoming the first black man to march in space in 1995.
In 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space on the space shuttle Endeavor. In 2013, Victor Glover Jr. became the US Senate MP, elected astronaut, and became the first black person to serve long-term occupation on the ISS. He was a crew member from November 15, 2020 to May 2, 2021.