Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native American to go into space

It’s a big date for Native Americans: Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native American to go into space. This Marine colonel, now a NASA astronaut, is also a member of the Wailacki tribe. Nicole Aunapu Mann will soon take command of the Crew-5 mission and should board the ISS on September 29. The Native American will be accompanied in the Dragon module (SpaceX) by three teammates, NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, Japanese Koichi Wakata and Russian Anna Kikina.

Nicole Aunapu Mann NASA

Nicole Aunapu Mann

If Nicole Aunapu Mann is indeed the very first Native American to join the International Space Station, the title of first “Native American” in space goes to John Herrington of the Chickasaw Nation, who was aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in 2002. Mann has the perfect profile of a “Hero’s stuff” astronaut: a former F/A-18 Hornet pilot who has participated in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, she also holds a master’s degree in engineering from the prestigious Stanford University.

Asked about this historic first, Nicole Aunapu Mann replied that she was especially satisfied when thinking of Native American children who too often think that they will not be able to do jobs as prestigious as astronauts.

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