NASA has announced their 2021 astronaut candidate class and a Chesapeake native made the cut!
35-year-old, Dr. Andre Douglas is a former Coast Guardsman and engineer from Chesapeake. NASA said he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate in systems engineering from the George Washington University.
Douglas served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a naval architect, salvage engineer, damage control assistant, and officer of the deck. He most recently was a senior staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, working on maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions for NASA, the organization announced.
Douglas was one of 10 people chosen for the candidate class and he was one of over 12,000 applicants to represent the United States and work for humanity’s benefit in space. This is the first new class in four years, according to NASA.
The astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson in January 2022 to begin two years of training. Astronaut candidate training falls into five major categories: operating and maintaining the International Space Station's complex systems, training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills, safely operating a T-38 training jet, and Russian language skills.
“Upon completion, they could be assigned to missions that involve performing research aboard the space station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, as well as deep space missions to destinations including the Moon on NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket,” NASA said.