Chesapeake Native Dr. Andre Douglas Among NASA’S Final Ten Astronaut Candidates

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The new class of NASA astronaut recruits has been revealed, and one of Hampton Roads’ own is among them.

Dr. Andre Douglas was one of 12,000 applicants hoping to explore the cosmos, and as part of the final ten he’ll report for duty in January to begin two years of initial training as an astronaut candidate.

Douglas is a graduate of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake who went on to obtain degrees from the Coast Guard Academy, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University.

His mountain of work experience is equally intimidating, and includes work done with NASA previously. From NASA’s website:

As an engineer at APL, Douglas supported the fault management team during the development of the DART planetary defense mission for NASA. He also supported the systems engineering team on MEGANE, a sophisticated gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer instrument, developed to support the Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Upon his selection as a NASA astronaut candidate, Douglas was participating in the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) at APL in collaboration with NASA to identify lunar surface needs and recommend technology development strategies. He also supported a variety of APL proposals for NASA.

The astronaut application process is open to US citizens with a masters degree in a STEM field, or completion of a test pilot program, or an education in certain medical areas. They need to have two years of related experience after obtaining their Masters degree, or 1,000 hours of time in command of a jet aircraft.

An Astronaut Selection Board reviews all applications then invites a small group of applicants to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for interviews, then later invites a smaller group back for second interviews. The final candidates are then selected from this group.

During his two years of initial training, Douglas will be learning to fly a T-38 jet plane and learning basic astronaut skills like space walking and operating the International Space Station. Upon completion of initial training, he could be one of the first humans to return to the Moon, and possibly part of an effort to begin manned exploration of Mars.

Astronaut Candidate Dr. Andre Douglas

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Glen Pearson

Glen Pearson

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