Nicole Aunapu Mann, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was one of eight candidates selected for future space missions in 2013. She completed the training in 2015 and is now qualified for assignment.
Mann visits the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Wednesday to give a presentation, “The Sky is Not the Limit,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Meijer Theater. The event is free and open to the public.
During the presentation, Mann will recount pre-astronaut experiences that put her on a path to the appointment, and then turn to the rigorous training required to fly into space.
Mann has undergone intensive instruction about International Space Station systems, robotics, and space walking in the event she is assigned a mission to the orbiting laboratory.
Mann is currently training to be part of an Orion mission to the moon in 2022, the first human flight back to the Earth’s satellite in a half century. She will also discuss the proposed missions to Mars.
Mann was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in United State Marine Corps in 1999. She began her active flying career in 2004 and was involved in a number of high profile test flights and missions. She accumulated more than 2,000 flight hours in 22 types of aircraft, 200 carrier arrestments and 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mann will also be the featured speaker at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the annual banquet in honor of the 51st recipient of the prestigious Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship, this year honoring Patrick Clark Morgan of East Grand Rapids High School.