Indian-origin Anil Menon selected by NASA for future space missions

Indian-origin physician and a lieutenant colonel at the US Air Force Anil Menon has been selected by NASA along with nine others to be astronauts for future missions, the American space agency has announced.

In a statement, NASA announced that it has chosen 10 new astronaut candidates from a field of more than 12,000 applicants to represent the US and work for humanity’s benefit in space.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson introduced the members of the 2021 astronaut class, the first new class in four years.

Well, 45-year-old Menon was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Ukrainian and Indian immigrants.

He was SpaceX’s first flight surgeon, helping to launch the company’s first humans to space during NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission and building a medical organisation to support the human system during future missions.

Menon previously served NASA as the crew flight surgeon for various expeditions taking astronauts to the International Space Station.

He is an actively practicing emergency medicine physician with fellowship training in wilderness and aerospace medicine.

Also worth mentioning here, aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla in July became the third Indian-origin woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

Notably, the astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson in January 2022 to begin two years of training.