Andre Douglas, who has had his sights set on the stars for as long as he can remember, is one of the 10 astronaut candidates picked by NASA for the 2021 astronaut class.
The renowned class of 2021 is NASA’s first astronaut class in four years, chosen from over 12,000 applicants who completed an online assessment test and were required to hold a master’s degree in a STEM field for the first time ever.
The group will “represent the United States and work for humanity’s benefit in space,” which might involve a lunar trip or more in the near future.
When NASA Administrator Bill Nelson introduced the class on Monday, Dec. 6, he remarked, “Today we welcome 10 new explorers, 10 members of the Artemis generation, NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class.” “Each candidate has ‘the right stuff’ on their own, but collectively, they symbolize our country’s creed: E pluribus unum — out of many, one.”
Beginning in January 2022, the ten candidates, including Douglas, will undergo two years of training in subjects such as operating and maintaining the complex systems of the International Space Station, training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills, safely operating a T-38 training jet, and Russian language skills.
Douglas, 35, has been fascinated by space since he was seven years old, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the United States Naval Academy. The Coast Guard Academy and the University of Michigan are two of the best schools in the country.
He also holds master’s degrees in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan, an electrical and computer engineering master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in systems engineering from George Washington University.
“There’s a possibility that humans will become an interplanetary species, and I want to be a part of that effort,” Douglas told The Virginian-Pilot.
During his seven years of active Coast Guard duty, Douglas had a variety of duties, including naval architect, salvage engineer, damage control assistant, and officer of the deck.
Most recently, the stargazer served as a senior staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, where we worked on NASA’s maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions.
Douglas could be assigned to a variety of missions after completing his training, ranging from conducting research aboard the space station to launching commercial spacecraft from American soil, as well as deep space missions to destinations such as the Moon on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.
“I’d love to go on any mission,” Douglas added. “Seeing Earth from space is only a fantasy.”
The soon-to-be space traveler thinks that his inclusion in the most recent class of NASA astronaut candidates illustrates to future generations that if you simply keep going, you can realize your childhood aspirations.
“To all the kids out there today,” he advised, “follow your dreams.” “When you’re doing something you enjoy, it’s not difficult.” You simply want to keep going and doing more in order to discover your own potential. What kind of person can you truly be? ”
Nichole Ayers, Marcos Berros, Christina Birch, Deniz Burnham, Luke Delaney, Jack Hathaway, Anil Menon, Christopher Williams, and Jessica Wittner are among NASA’s 2021 Astronaut candidate class.