NASA astronaut Raja Chari 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.
Raja Chari was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class and reported for duty in August 2017. He has completed two years of training as an Astronaut Candidate. The Iowa native graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He continued on to earn a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
At the time of his selection in June 2017, Chari was a Colonel select in the U.S. Air Force, serving as the Commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the Director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force. He has accumulated more than 2,000 hours of flight time in the F-35, F-15, F-16, and F-18 including F-15E combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployments in support of the Korean peninsula.
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.