Only Black Woman Among New NASA Astronauts

The newest class of NASA astronauts includes one incredible Black woman, Jessica Watkins.

Wednesday the 12 names of prospective NASA astronauts have been released. It’s the first announcement since 2013. Jessica Watkins became one of the selected dozen.

Jessica managed to fit the toughest requirements possible and make it to the top of the pool of 18,300 applicants. “I’m very excited about the diversity on this team, this amazing group of people. I think that says a lot about NASA and their goals towards creating a diverse workforce,” she said. “I think the thing about diversity is that it allows for experiences that may not be exactly the same to bring different things to the table. And then the other side of that… is the idea of being able to be a face to others who may not see people who look like them in STEM fields in general, and doing cool things like going to space.”

“That is something that has really pushed me to this point in my life,” she added. “I’ve been really grateful and lucky to have the mentorship support that I’ve received from a lot of my teachers and professors and supervisors. That’s been something that’s really important for me, and I think help with that idea of persistence, having a mentor who can continue to push you and encourage you in a STEM field is really helpful.”

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