March 11, 2024

NASA Has Now Enlisted 20 Black Astronauts And Counting With Newest Graduates


NASA’s latest class of astronauts, including two notable Black graduates, Andre Douglas and Christopher Williams, marks a milestone for the agency: it has enlisted 20 Black astronauts since the beginning.

A Milestone For Black Astronauts

NASA’s recent ceremony at the Johnson Space Center in Houston celebrated the graduation of 10 astronauts, now eligible for various flight assignments. 

This diverse group is set to participate in future missions, ranging from the International Space Station to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

The graduates were selected from an impressive pool of over 12,000 applicants, demonstrating exceptional talent and dedication.

“Congratulations to the newest class of NASA astronauts!” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a press release.

“We are excited to have a new and diverse set of explorers ready to expand humanity’s reach. Astronauts are pioneers who will help us embark on this new era of exploration, and we need more adventurers ready to join the ranks to explore the cosmos, including future missions to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond.”

Read: Victor Glover To Make History As First Black Man To Venture To The Moon

Andre Douglas And Christopher Williams

The inclusion of Andre Douglas and Christopher Williams is particularly noteworthy. 

Their selection highlights NASA’s efforts to promote diversity and representation in space exploration.  The contribution of Black astronauts to NASA’s missions has been significant, and this step continues that legacy.

This class also reflects international collaboration, with two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates training alongside their NASA counterparts.

This global partnership extends to various space-related activities, reinforcing the importance of shared knowledge and resources in space exploration.

As NASA gears up for its ambitious Artemis missions, the role of these astronauts becomes ever more critical. 

Their fresh perspectives and diverse backgrounds are invaluable in advancing our understanding of space and fostering a more inclusive environment in this extraordinary field.

Feature Image Credit: NASA/ James Blair

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.