Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari, an Indian-American US Air Force colonel, is among 18 astronauts, half of them women, who have been selected by NASA for its ambitious manned mission to the Moon and beyond.
The modern lunar exploration programme will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish a sustainable human lunar presence by the end of the decade, the American space agency said.
Raja Chari, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and US Naval Test Pilot School, is the only Indian-American on the list. He was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.
He reported for duty in August 2017 and having completed the initial astronaut candidate training is now eligible for a mission assignment.