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Who is Anil Menon? One among the 10 selected for future moon mission by NASA

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Indian-origin lieutenant colonel Anil Menon is one among the 10 astronauts who have been selected for NASA's future missions. It has chosen 10 new astronaut candidates from a field of more than 12,000 applicants to represent the United States and work for humanity's benefit in space, the organisation said on Monday.

Who is Anil Menon?
Anil Menon was born to Ukrainian and Indian parents and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 45-year-old is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force. As per NASA, he was SpaceX's first flight surgeon, who helped to launch the company's first humans to space during its SpaceX Demo-2 mission and to build a medical organization to support the human system during future missions.

Who is Anil Menon? One among the 10 selected for future moon mission by NASA
Photo Credit: NASA

Before that, he worked as the crew flight surgeon in NASA for various expeditions taking astronauts to the International Space Station. The space organisation claims that he is an actively practising emergency medicine physician with fellowship training in wilderness and aerospace medicine.

As a physician, he was the first responder during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and the 2011 Reno Air Show accident. In the Air Force, Menon supported the 45th Space Wing as a flight surgeon and the 173rd Fighter Wing, where he logged over 100 sorties in the F-15 fighter jet and transported over 100 patients as part of the critical care air transport team.

As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, he had also spent a year in India to study and support polio vaccinations. As far as his education is concerned, he studied engineering and medicine at Stanford Medical School where and worked on coding soft tissue models at NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, California. At Harvard University, he studied neurobiology and conducted researches on Huntington's disease.

Other astronaut candidates are:
Nichole Ayers, 32, major, U.S. Air Force.
Marcos Berríos, 37, major, U.S. Air Force.
Christina Birch, 35, grew up in Gilbert, Arizona.
Deniz Burnham, 36, lieutenant, U.S. Navy.
Luke Delaney, 42, major, retired, U.S. Marine Corps.
Andre Douglas, 35, is a Virginia native.
Jack Hathaway, 39, commander, U.S. Navy.
Christopher Williams, 38, grew up in Potomac, Maryland.
Jessica Wittner, 38, lieutenant commander, U.S. Navy.

The astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson in January 2022 where they will begin two years of their training. According to NASA, the 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.

After the completion of their training, they will be assigned to missions that involve performing research aboard the space station.

On the personal front, Anil Menon is married to Anna Menon, who works at SpaceX as the lead space operations engineer. They have two children.

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