By Nazanine Nouri
On March 24, NASA and the European Space Agency announced the selection of two astronauts to launch on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station: NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli as the mission’s spacecraft commander and ESA’s Andreas Mogensen as pilot.
The mission is expected to launch no earlier than 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the astronauts will join an expedition crew aboard the space station.
“I am extremely excited to share the news that @esa @Astro_Andreas and I will be launching on @SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the @Space_Station together! Andy, let’s do this!” tweeted the Iranian-American Moghbeli on March 24.
— Jasmin Moghbeli (@AstroJaws) March 24, 2022
Jasmin Moghbeli was born into an Iranian family in 1983 in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Her parents, Kamy and Fereshteh Moghbeli, fled Iran after the Islamic Revolution and subsequently settled in Baldwin, New York with Jasmin and her older brother Kaveh.
As a child, Moghbeli recalled, she believed she could do anything — be in the National Basketball Assocation, or an astronaut, or an Olympic skier. She felt lucky to have always had the support of her husband and parents.
“As I started to overcome more challenges through my life, I realized, yeah, I could possibly really do this,” she said on a NASA video (“Meet NASA Astronaut & Artemis Team Member Jasmin Moghbeli”) in January 2021
“I think it’s 100 percent natural to have doubt,” she added. “What’s important is how you respond to that doubt and just let that be your driver to work harder and figure out a different way to do things.”
Jasmin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
In 2005, after completing her undergraduate studies, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
An AH-1W Super Cobra pilot and Marine Corps test pilot, Moghbeli has over 150 combat missions under her belt, as well as 2,000 hours of flight time in more than 25 different aircraft. In 2017, she was selected by NASA to be an Astronaut Candidate and completed two years of training.
Moghbeli said every morning “feels like a pinch-me moment to think that I’m actually an astronaut right now.”
She listed several reasons for going to the moon, starting with “our curiosity. Who in the world doesn’t stare up at the moon and just wonder? While we’ve been there before, we’ve only explored a limited region of it, and so getting to know more about the moon not only can teach us more about Earth, but also can set us up for going further and going to Mars.”
Moghbeli has been awarded four Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. She is also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Together with her husband, Samuel Wald, an aerospace systems engineer, they are the proud parents of twin girls.