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Meet the 13 astronauts who could be the first humans on Mars

The first class from NASA's Artemis program, which will take humans back to the moon as a stepping stone to Mars, get their astronaut pins Friday.

They may be the first to go where no one has gone before.

NASA is holding a ceremony honoring the first astronaut class to graduate under the Artemis program that will send humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972. These men and women could also be among the first people to land on Mars.

The class includes 11 NASA candidates and two from the Canadian Space Agency. The NASA candidates were chosen out of more than 18,000 applicants.

Each astronaut will receive their astronaut pin at the ceremony, which marks their graduation from basic training and eligibility to fly in space.

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The Artemis program has a target of getting astronauts to the moon by 2024. NASA is shooting for a trip to Mars sometime in the 2030s.

Below this class photo is some information about each astronaut and their background.

Credit: Bill Stafford
The first graduating class of astronauts under NASA's Artemis program. (Top row) Matthew Dominick, Kayla Barron, Warren Hoburg, and Joshua Kutryk. (Middle row) Bob Hines, Frank Rubio, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons, Jasmin Moghbeli, and Jessica Watkins. (Bottom row) Raja Chari, Jonny Kim, Zena Cardman, and Loral O’Hara.


  • Kayla Barron is a U.S. Navy lieutenant originally from Richland, Washington.  She has a bachelor's degree in systems engineering and a master's degree in nuclear engineering.
  • Zena Cardman from Williamsburg, Virginia, has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in marine sciences.
  • Raja Chari, a U.S. Air Force colonel, is from Cedar Falls, Iowa. He holds degrees in astronautical engineering, engineering science,  aeronautics and astronautics.
  • Matthew Dominick, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, is a native of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in systems engineering.
  • Bob Hines, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, calls Harrisburg, Pennsylvania home but attended high school in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. Hines was a developmental test pilot on all models of the F-15 while earning a master’s in aerospace engineering. He also has a master's in flight test engineering.
  • Warren Hoburg, a commercial pilot from Pittsburgh, holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science.
  • Dr. Jonny Kim, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, is from Los Angeles. He holds a doctorate in medicine from Harvard.
  • Jasmin Moghbeli, a U.S. Marine Corps major, calls Baldwin, New York, home. She holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
  • Loral O’Hara from Houston has a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  • Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is originally from Miami. In addition to a degree in international relations and a doctorate in medicine, Rubio has spent 1,100 hours as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, including 600 hours of combat and imminent danger time.
  • Jessica Watkins from Lafayette, Colorado has a bachelor’s degree in geological and environmental sciences and a doctorate in geology.


  • Joshua Kutryka Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant colonel, has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degrees in space studies, flight test engineering, and defense studies. 
  • Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons holds an honors bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in engineering.

Biographical information on astronauts courtesy of NASA.

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