Estonian descendant Nicole Aunapu Mann selected for American space flights

AstronautNicole Aunapu Mann, whose grandfather was Estonian, is due to take her first space flight onboard the Boeing Starliner in 2019.

NASA, the United StatesNational Aeronautics and Space Administration, introduced on 4 August the first US astronauts who will fly on an American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from theInternational Space Station. The endeavour will return astronaut launches to US soil for the first time since the country retired its aging space shuttles in 2011.

The space agency assigned nine astronauts to crew the first test flight and the mission of bothBoeing’s CST-100 StarlinerandSpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Among the three astronauts selected for Boeing’s Starliner test flight is Nicole AunapuMann – a California native whose grandfather, Helmuth Aunapu, emigrated to the US from Estonia just before the Second World War. This will be her first trip to space.

A possible mission to Mars

Mann, alieutenant colonelin theUS Marine Corps, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1999 before earning a degree in mechanical engineering atStanford Universityin 2001. She then served two combat tours, flying 47 combat missions in F/A-18s (a US combat jet) as a fighter pilot over Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2013, she was one of the eight candidates selected from more than 6,300 applicants to train as an astronaut for NASA, and the agency later announced Mann could be one of the first astronauts sent on a mission to Mars.

“The men and women we assign to these first flights are at the forefront of this exciting new time for human spaceflight,” Mark Geyer, the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. “It will be thrilling to see our astronauts lift off from American soil, and we can’t wait to see them aboard the International Space Station.”

The Starliner to launch at Cape Canaveral

The Boeing Starliner is designed to fit up to seven astronauts, although the configuration could change depending on how much cargo the spacecraft would carry. The Starliner has a diameter of 4.5 metres (15 feet) and a length of five metres (16.5 feet), which includes the service module. The spacecraft will launch aboard an Atlas V rocket from the Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

When the Starliner approaches the International Space Station, the docking will be fully autonomous as the spacecraft manoeuvres towardan adapted docking port for commercial spacecraft.Once the spacecraft is attached to the space station,it’s designed to stay there for 210 days. Returning to Earth, the Starliner is designed to land on solid ground, using large air bags. If an emergency takes place, though, the spacecraft can splash down in the ocean.

Cover: Nicole Aunapu Mann (in the middle) withEric Boe (left) andChristopher Ferguson, the test crew selected by NASA for the first space flight onboard the Boeing Starliner (courtesy of NASA).

estonianworld
EstoniandescendantNicoleAunapuMann Americanspaceflights
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
More than half of all Estonian residents support as liberal an alcohol policy as possible or one with few restrictions (54% in all), while another third favour more stringent restrictions, according to the alcohol yearbook, titled "Market, consumption and damages of alcohol in Estonia," introduced at a National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) conference on Tuesday. According to a poll conducted by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI),...
Society
Trying to keep on top of the movements of the political parties in Estonia can be a bit like herding the proverbial cats at times, particularly now we're in election season. From an "anglophone"* perspective, there are plenty of parties — around nine in all, three in government, three in opposition and three more potentially winning a few seats in March. This compares with three and a half parties in Britain (UKIP is the "half"), outside of Northern Irelan...
Politics
The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia has in large part decided its top candidates for the March 2019 Riigikogu elections, to be officially confirmed by the party board on Friday. EKRE's top candidate for Harju and Rapla Counties, Estonia's largest electoral district, will be MP Henn Põlluaas. Party chairman Mart Helme, meanwhile, will run in the number one spot in Pärnu County. Monika Helme will top the party's election list in Lääne, Saar...
Society
Hot on the heels of the Social Democratic (SDE) and Reform parties announcing their primary candidates in each of the 12 electoral districts at the March 2019 general election, ruling coaltion majority party Centre has done the same. Centre, from whose ranks Prime Minister Jüri Ratas comes, will run the latter in Harju and Rapla counties, with three current ministers, one MEP and the deputy head of the Riigikogu joining him as front-runners in other distri...
Society
Prosecutor General Lavly Perling will present an overview of requests for legal help, originating from the Russian Federation, to the Riigikogu on Tuesday. Letters from Russian authorities in 2012 and 2014 reportedly made clear reference to money laundering activity and requested witness input. According to business daily Äripäev, Ms Perling confirmed the letters contained direct reference to money laundering but were confidential and their contents not or...
Society
Coalition partner the Social Democratic party (SDE) has announced its top riders for the March 2019 elections in Estonia's 12 electoral districts, though its full list will be confirmed in December, the party says. There are no real surprises on a well-stocked list which includes the recently-attracted Indrek Tarad, currently still an independent MEP. Mr Tarand, whilst standing for SDE, has not as yet become a party member. Since the system in Estonia is a...
Society
According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in October 2018 was 0.5% compared to September and 4.4% compared to October of the previous year. Goods were 3.7% and services 5.7% more expensive compared to October 2017, while regulated prices of goods and services increased by 9.1%, and non-regulated prices by 3.1%. Compared to October 2017, the consumer price index was affected the most by transport, which contributed nearly a thi...
Society
The Ministry of Culture has rejected the request of English-language web magazine Estonian World (EW) for support from the state to to the tune of €5,000 for the remainder of 2018. The ministry has, however, promised to seek opportunities for supporting the portal in 2019. "Unfortunately, the support to this extent of English-language Estonian media outlets is not provided for in the agenda and budget of the government-approved Compatriots Programme for th...
Society
Last Wednesday, Theatre NO99 abruptly announced that it would be closing its doors, with its final performances scheduled for November and December. The theatre will be vacating a large building at the Central Tallinn address of Sakala 3, interest in which has been expressed by Sakala Skene, a new open centre for the performing arts and theatre education. Sakala Skene is a new brand uniting Polygon Theatre and Polygon Threatre School, Old Baskin's Theatre,...