NASA has selected 18 astronauts to the moon’s surface expedition for the first time since the 1970s. The mission under NASA’s Artemis program has a team of nine men and nine women astronauts. The team includes Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari. Chari’s father Sreenivas V Chari had immigrated to the US from Hyderabad. He served as a colonel in the US Air Force. He has a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering and a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics.
Raja was among the 11 new NASA graduates who successfully completed their over two years’ of basic astronaut training in January 2020. The astronauts were selected from 18,000 applicants in 2017. Chari, 41, was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported for duty in August 2017 and has completed the initial astronaut candidate training is now eligible for a mission assignment.