Meet the female Marine Corps aviation major who's now also an astronaut

Elizabeth Howe
January 13, 2020 - 12:46 pm
Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli


Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli is a New York native with multiple degrees in aerospace engineering who has flown over 150 combat missions with the Marine Corps — oh and now she's an astronaut. 

Moghbeli just graduated with NASA' 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class — the class that is projected to send the first woman to the moon and the first humans to Mars. 

Moghbeli says the Marine Corps helped her to get this far. 

"I think being in the Marine Corps was a huge asset — being a test pilot," Moghbeli said.

Moghbeli's final flight

Moghbeli commissioned in the Marine Corps in 2005 and began her operational flying career in 2008 with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 Scarface in Camp Pendleton, California. From that point until 2017, Moghbeli accumulated more than 150 combat missions and 2,000 hours of flight time in over 25 different aircraft. When she was selected to join NASA's 2017 candidate class, she was testing H-1 helicopters and serving as the quality assurance and avionics officer for VMX-1. 

Coolest astronauts who are also veterans

Moghbeli is only the second female active duty Marine Corps officer to become an astronaut. The first, Lt. Col. Nicole Mann served as a mentor to Moghbeli. 

"It's really exciting to be following in the footsteps of Lt. Col. Mann — the first female to graduate from this program as an active duty Marine Corps officer," Moghbeli said. 

Moghbeli was one of 13 men and women selected for the 2017 candidate class out of 18,000 applications. The class of new astronauts is now awaiting a mission assignment. 

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