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Jessica Watkins is the first Black woman on the space station crew

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Astronaut Jessica Watkins (PHOTO: Getty Images)
  • Astronaut Jessica Watkins is a trailblazer.
  • She is the first Black woman on the space station crew.
  • Learn more about her impressive career.

Jessica Watkins is the first Black woman to be a part of the crew on the International Space Station.

She was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland and now calls Lafayette, Colorado home.

She is the daughter of Michael and Carolyn Watkins and has said she loves rugby, basketball, soccer, skiing, movies and writing.

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Jessica Watkins was selected by NASA to join their 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

She reported for duty in August of the same year and completed two years of astronaut candidate training.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Watkins conducted her graduate research on the emplacement mechanisms of large landslides on Mars and Earth.

What you didn’t know about Jessica Watkins

NASA, Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Curiosity, MundoNOW, Astronaut Jessica Watkins
PHOTO: Wikipedia

Astronaut Jessica Watkins has worked at the Ames Research Center and at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Additionally, she was part of the scientific team for NASA’s Curiosity rover at the agency’s Mars Science Laboratory.

She served as a mission specialist on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station, which ended on October 14, 2022.

It was Watkins’ first spaceflight and the first flight of the Crew Dragon «Freedom» spacecraft.

She spent 170 days in space

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PHOTO: Getty Images

According to NASA, Jessica Watkins spent 170 days in space.

During this mission, she maintained the space station and contributed to scientific experiments, which could improve life on Earth.

They also allowed researchers to learn more about the effects of long-duration space flights on the human body.

According to CNN, Jessica Watkins’ colleagues affectionately refer to her as ‘Watty.’

‘It’s hard to become what you don’t see’

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PHOTO: Getty Images

According to Homosensual, in an interview picked up from AFP, Jessica Watkins always wanted to be an astronaut.

She never imagined she would be the first Black woman to be a part of the International Space Station crew.

She has said that representation is vital.

«It will be an important step for the agency, the country, and even the world. Representation is important. It’s hard to become what you don’t see,» she said.

Astronaut Jessica Watkins is passionate about basketball

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PHOTO: Wikipedia

According to NASA, Jessica Watkins was a volunteer assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Caltech.

Her astronaut candidate training included scientific and technical briefings, but that wasn’t all.

She also received intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, as well as spacewalks and robotics.

She was also trained in T-38 flight, water and nature survival, geology and expeditionary skills.

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