U.S. Marine Stationed in Yuma Selected as NASA Astronaut Candidate

Jun 8, 2017

A U.S. Marine stationed in Yuma has been selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.  Maya Springhawk Robnett with the Arizona Science Desk reports…

Major Jasmin Moghbeli received her Bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earned a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and is a “Cobra” pilot with the United States Marine Corps.  But before all this, she was a little girl dreaming of space.

“I did a book report on Valentina Tereshkova when I was in sixth grade and we got to dress up like the person we did the book report on," Moghbeli recalled. "So I had my little space suit my mom helped me make.  And that’s when I decided I wanted to be an astronaut.”

Moghbeli is one of twelve selected candidates who were chosen from a pool of more than 18-thousand applicants, a record number.  NASA missions in the future are looking to Mars and deep space.  Moghbeli said this is an exciting time to be an Astronaut Candidate. 

Everybody knows exactly where they were when we landed on the moon. And I think this is kind of one of the next big, exciting things that we can really all rally behind.

“I wasn’t alive for the moon landing," she said.  "You know, I always hear about it and how everybody knows exactly where they were when we landed on the moon.  And I think this is kind of one of the next big, exciting things that we can really all rally behind.”

Major Moghbeli is currently stationed in Yuma, Arizona and will begin training in Houston, Texas in August.  The New York native has received four Air Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and many other distinctions.

An extended interview between Major Jasmin Moghbeli and KAWC's Maya Springhawk Robnett can be found below.