Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari nominated for US Air Force Brigadier General
Washington, January 27: Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari has been nominated by United States President Joe Biden for the appointment to the grade of Air Force brigadier general, according to the US Defence Department.
The nomination was announced on Thursday and would have to be confirmed by the Senate which approves all senior civilian and military appointments, according to the US Defence Department. "Air Force Col. Raja J Chari for appointment to the grade of brigadier general. Chari is currently serving as the Crew-3 commander and astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center, Texas," the statement reads.
Raja Chari, earlier, was one of the four astronauts who were part of the SpaceX spacecraft which docked successfully at the orbiting lab in May, last year. Chari was the commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-3 mission. He was responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry.
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He also served as an Expedition 66 flight engineer aboard the station. This was the first spaceflight for Chari, who was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 2017.
Chari along with Kayla Barron, Tom Marshburn -all of NASA and European Space Agency's (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer returned to Earth in a parachute-assisted splashdown into the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, US at 12:43 am EDT completing the agency's third long-duration commercial crew mission to the International Space Station.
He was born in Milwaukee but considers Cedar Falls, Iowa, his hometown. He is a colonel in the US Air Force and joins the mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time during his career.
Chari had completed his graduation from Columbus High School in Waterloo, Iowa.
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He earned a bachelor's degree in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland and also graduated from US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.