jessica watkins will be part of nasa’s newest astronaut class

June 13, 2017

Out of the 18,300 applicants, Jessica Watkins is one of 12 people chosen to join NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University and a Doctorate in Geology from the University of California., Los Angeles, the 29-year-old (WOW) Colorado native has been working with NASA since she was an undergrad. Providing supporting research for the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, prototyping drill testing for Mars exploration, and serving chief geologist for the NASA Spaceward Bound Crew 86 at the Mars Research Station in 2009, and participating in the NASA Planetary Science Summer School at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Watkins is ridiculously and uniquely qualified to man a mission to Mars. “Since the age of 9, I wanted to be an astronaut,” Watkins told BET. “I was originally inspired by an after-school enrichment program at Judith Resnik Elementary.”

Congratulations, Jessica!

Photo by Courtesy of Robert Markowitz / NASA