NASA astronaut Nicole Mann is a member of the Artemis Team, a select group of astronauts charged with focusing on the development and training efforts for early Artemis missions.
Nicole Aunapu Mann was selected by NASA in June 2013. She is currently training for the crew flight test of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, the first crewed flight for that vehicle. Mann and her crewmates are working closely with Boeing to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will provide roundtrip crew transportation services to the International Space Station and, along with SpaceX’s CrewDragon, return the ability to launch humans into space from United States soil.
The California native holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Mann is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps and served as a test pilot in the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet. She deployed twice aboard aircraft carriers in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mann was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1999. Following graduate school, she completed The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia and reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, for flight training in 2001. She earned her wings of gold as a Naval Aviator in 2003 and reported to VFA-106 for fleet training in the F/A-18C. She began her operational flying career in 2004 with the Thunderbolts of VMFA-251 based out of Beaufort, South Carolina. During this assignment, she deployed twice with CVW-1 aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) and flew combat missions in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon return from her second deployment, Mann reported to the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Class 135, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.
In June 2009, she began her Developmental Test tour at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO THREE (VX-23) as an F/A-18 Test Pilot/Project Officer. While at VX-23, Mann executed a variety of flight tests, including loads envelope expansion, flying qualities, carrier suitability and ordnance separation in the F/A-18A-F. In the spring of 2011, Mann assumed duties as the VX-23 Operations Officer.
In July 2012, Mann was assigned to PMA-281 as the Joint Mission Planning System – Expeditionary (JMPS-E) Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead when she was selected as an astronaut candidate. She has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours in 25 types of aircraft, 200 carrier arrestments and 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mann was selected in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class. Her Astronaut Candidate Training included intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, Spacewalks, Russian language training, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. She completed Astronaut Candidate training in July 2015. She has served as the T-38 Safety and Training Officer and most recently completed a tour as the Assistant to the Chief for Exploration. She led the astronaut corps in the development of the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS), and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). She is currently training for the crew flight test of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, the first crewed flight for that vehicle.
Through the Artemis program NASA and a coalition of international partners will return to the Moon to learn how to live on other worlds for the benefit of all. With Artemis missions NASA will send the first woman and the next man to the Moon in 2024 and about once per year thereafter.
Through the efforts of humans and robots, we will explore more of the Moon than ever before; to lead a journey of discovery that benefits our planet with life changing science, to use the Moon and its resources as a technology testbed to go even farther and to learn how to establish and sustain a human presence far beyond Earth.
I don’t want to sound sexist, or whatever not PC, but she does look like someone who you would be happily confined to small spaces with. 🙂