Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American astronaut Raji Chari for the post of Brigadier General in the US Air Force. Chari, who has served as a Colonel in the Air Force for over 20 years, is a decorated veteran with over 3,500 hours of flight time. This nomination is a historic moment for the Indian-American community and for the US Air Force, as Chari will become the first Indian-American astronaut to hold the rank of Brigadier General if confirmed.
Chari, who was born in India, immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and later earned a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his education, Chari joined the US Air Force and has had a distinguished career, including serving as a test pilot and instructor at the Air Force Test Pilot School.
In 2013, Chari was selected as a NASA astronaut and completed a six-month mission on the International Space Station in 2017. During his time on the space station, Chari conducted several experiments and performed spacewalks, making significant contributions to the advancement of space exploration.
Raja Chari is a 45-year-old US Air Force Colonel with a master’s degree in aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).Besides attending the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, Chari is also an accomplished test pilot who previously served as commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and head of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Chari was named Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) (ISS). Chari has approximately 2,500 hours of flight time in his career as a pilot.