The first native woman to fly into space: Nicole Aunapu Mann dreams of saving humanity

She was selected in December 2020 as a member of the Artemis mission, which wants to bring the next man but above all the first woman on the moon by 2024. Meanwhile, however, the NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu “Duke” Mann she will be the first native woman to travel to space next fall.

The 45-year-old earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford after attending the Navy Academy and serving in Marine Corps of the United States, where he flew an F / A-18 Hornet, a fighter and attack aircraft. In 2013 Mann was selected as one of eight members of a selective group of astronauts known as NASA Astronaut Group 21she completed her training in 2015 and is currently a test pilot of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner, a spacecraft that transports astronauts to the International Space Station.

At the end of September 2022 Nicole will board the mission SpaceX Crew-5 to go to the International Space Station. At the news site Indian country today (ICT) she said she was “very excited” about her leadership: “I think it is important to give news to our community, so that other native guys, if they think that this (going to space) is not possible, you will realize that some of the barriers that were there before are starting to be demolished“.

Nicole Aunapu Mann is 45 years old and the first Native American woman to fly into space

The mission on the International Space Station

This is NASA’s fifth crew rotation flight under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. As mission commander on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, the Californian will guide all phases of flight, from launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. It will also be flight engineer Expedition 68. Three other astronauts will also participate in the Crew-5 mission: NASA’s Josh Cassada, JAXA’s Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. The crew will live on board for six monthsto complete the mission of conducting approx 250 scientific experiments in the space station, which is “a floating laboratory,” said Nicole Mann, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the Marines.

Nicole Mann will depart on August 29 as commander of the mission on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft

The first face with hope for the future of humanity

For the 45-year-old it is the first space flight and, as a Native American, she will also be the first woman to represent an indigenous people on a mission. But in addition to building on her role in her community, like model for the younger generationsMann’s interest is primarily aimed at discovering science on board of the International Space Station, and how this will lead benefits to the human race. Among the things that fascinate her there is for example “the biofabrication structure”. In practice it is 3D print human cells, “Which seems very futuristic to me, doesn’t it?” He enthuses to ICT. On Earth it is in fact impossible to print them and make them grow, due to the force of gravity, while in space “the structure of the cell is much more intact”, explains the astronaut. But the ultimate goal is ambitious, which makes the mission he will be a part of even more important: print human organs. “We haven’t got there yet. However, we have successfully printed some heart cells and part of the meniscus of a knee ”. But the hope is great and maybe who knows, on the next flight of the 45-year-old, if there will be, a heart made of cells made in 3D will be able to beat in her hands.

The first native woman to fly into space: Nicole Aunapu Mann dreams of saving humanity