Assistant Coach Watkins Selected NASA Astronaut Candidate

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Photo courtesy of NASA/Robert Markowitz

PASADENA (June 8, 2017) – Caltech Postdoc and women's basketball assistant coach Jessica Watkins has been selected as a member of the 2017 NASA Astronaut Candidate Class. 

Watkins, the GPS Chair's Postdoctoral Scholar and California Alliance for Graduate Education and Professoriate Fellow, has coached on the women's basketball staff for the past two seasons.  During that time, she has also worked on the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover with Faculty Athletics Representative John Grotzinger, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology and Ted and Ginger Jenkins Leadership Chair in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences.

She will begin the candidate program - one of just 19 in NASA history since the first named in 1959 -  in August hoping to join the 50 current astronauts and 35management astronauts in NASA.  Watkins was chosen as one of just 12 candidates from over 18,300 applications.

For the full NASA biography on Jessica, click here.

For a Q&A from the Caltech.,edu site, click here.




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