The US space agency NASA has selected 10 trainee astronauts for its mission to the moon. Anil Menon, of Indian origin, is also a part of these trainees. 45-year-old Anil will be a part of NASA’s class 2021. Anil was a flight surgeon in SpaceX and is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force.
Let us tell you that, of the 10 people selected for this class, 6 are men and 4 are women. After 50 years, NASA is working on the project of sending humans to the moon.
Anil has also spent almost one year in India, then he was sent here to study and support the polio campaign. No Indian astronaut has gone to the Moon so far. However, 4 Indians have gone to the space till now.
Rakesh Sharma was the first astronaut of India to go to space. Apart from him, Indian-origin Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, and Raja Chari have gone to space. If Anil becomes a part of NASA's Moon mission, he will be the first person of Indian origin to go to the Moon.
12000 people’s applications were received for the Moon mission, out of which only 10 have been selected for training. In January next year, these selected people will have to report at the Johnson Space Center in Texas and after that, they will have to go through 2 years of training. Once the training will be completed, all of them will be a part of NASA’s Artemis Generation Program.
In 2025, under this program, NASA is planning to send the first woman and a man to the surface of the moon.
Apart from Anil, the other 9 trainee astronauts selected include Major Nicole Ayers and Major Marcos Berioso of the US Air Force, US Marine Corps Major (Retd) Luke Delaney, US Navy Lieutenant Commanders Jessica Wittner and Lieutenant Deniz Burnham, US Navy Commanders Jack Hathaway, Christopher Williams, Christina Birchow and Andre Douglas.
Anil Menon's parents were Indian and Ukrainian. He grew up in Minnesota, USA, and graduated in neurobiology from Harvard University in 1999, and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, California in 2004.
Anil also holds a doctorate degree from Stanford Medical School. He has also served as a crew flight surgeon for several NASA missions to the International Space Station.
In 2014, Anil Menon started working as a flight surgeon for NASA. He was also involved in the Soyuz mission. Anil joined Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the year 2018 and there he helped in medical programs and preparations for the company’s first human flight. Anil worked for the building of starships, the astronaut program and the launch programs.