Raja Chari is among the three astronauts selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] and the European Space Agency [ESA] to fly to the international Space station [ISS] as part of the Space X crew 3 Mission. The Indian – American will command the mission. Tom Marshburn will serve as pilot and Matthias Maurer as a mission specialist. A fourth member will be picked to join the crew on the mission which is expected to launch in the fall of 2021.

Chari, born on 24 June 1977, a US Air Force colonel, hails from Cedar Falls in Iowa.

The crew – 3 mission is part of NASA’s contract with Space X, under its commercial crew program, as per which SpaceX will provide six crew missions to the ISS for NASA astronauts. The idea is to provide reliable, safe and cost – effective crew access to the space station and the low earth orbit.

The crew members will spend six months at the ISS. Their stay will overlap for a short duration with the crew 2 astronauts. Under the programme, NASA wants to send the next man and the first woman to the Moon by 2024.

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