A Marine pilot-turned-astronaut successfully led a crew into space, just months after another Marine pilot returned from a five-month stint at the International Space Station, the Marine Corps said Thursday.
Lt. Col. Jasmine Moghbeli made her first trip into space as a mission commander of SpaceX Crew-7, launching Aug. 26 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to a Marine Corps news release.
The crew — Moghbeli of NASA, Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, Satoshi Furukawa of Japan and cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov of Russia — moved into the International Space Station on Sunday, according to a NASA news release.
The International Space Station is a spacecraft orbiting Earth that serves as a home base for astronauts conducting scientific research in space.
Moghbeli started out as a AH-1 Super Cobra pilot and Marine Corps test pilot, and has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours, according to the Marine release.
She was born in Bad Nauheim, West Germany, though she considers Baldwin, New York, her hometown. Her parents’ experience leaving Iran was one of her inspirations to serve the United States, she previously told Marine Corps Times.
“I was interested in joining the military from a pretty young age,” she told Marine Corps Times. “I was also interested in becoming an astronaut from a pretty young age. Thankfully, those two things worked out together very well.”
The 40-year-old Moghbeli, who is the fourth female spacecraft commander in history, according to the Marine Corps, told CBS News she hopes her mission will inspire the next generation of girls, including her twin daughters.
Marine Col. Nicole Mann, originally an F/A-18 Hornet pilot, returned to Earth on March 11 after spending five months in space and conducting more than 14 hours of extravehicular activities outside of the International Space Station, according to the Marine release.
Gen. Eric Smith, the acting Marine commandant, said in the news release, “It’s…