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. Jasmin 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 inspiring to think how these Marines made a decision to serve their nation, and that decision gave them an opportunity to serve in space.”

“It gives new meaning to ‘every clime and place,’” Smith added, referring to the oft-quoted lines from “The Marines’ Hymn.”

The next NASA mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX Crew-8, is set to launch no earlier than February 2024.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Oct. 18 to correct the spelling of Moghbeli’s first name. A Marine Corps news release misspelled the name.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

In Other News
Load More