NASA selects Boricua to join 2021 astronaut candidate class

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The Latinx community has one more reason to celebrate today. NASA recently selected a Puerto Rican born in Tennessee Marcos Gabriel Berrios to join the class of 2021 astronaut candidates. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Berríos takes office in January 2022. He is an Air Force test pilot and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Boricua also has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Marcos is an experienced pilot and has accumulated over 110 combat missions and 1,300 flying hours in over 21 different aircraft.

© NASA
NASA selects Puerto Rican Marcos Gabriel Berríos to join the class of 2021 astronaut candidates

NASA reported that Berríos began his career as an aerospace engineer for the United States Army’s Aviation Development Directorate at Moffett Field, Calif., In 2011. There his research focused on understanding the dynamic behavior of using two helicopters to carry a single external load and the associated load. flight control challenges.

That same year, he began his operational pilot career as a National Guard and HH-60G Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter Pilot (CSAR) assigned to the 129th Rescue Squadron of the California Air National Guard at Moffett Field. . He later deployed to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he conducted casualty evacuation and special operations missions.

In 2019, Berríos reported for service at the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md., And upon graduation he was assigned to the CSAR Combined Test Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. as a development test pilot.

US-SPACE-ASTRONAUTS© GettyImages
(LR) Astronaut candidates Nichole Ayers, Christina Birch, Luke Delaney, Andre Douglas, Christopher Williams, Jessica Wittner, Anil Menon, Andre Douglas, Deniz Burnham and Marcos Berrios pose for a group photo during the announcement event NASA Astronaut Candidate 2021 on December 6, 2021 at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. – NASA has announced its last 10 student astronauts, including a firefighter-turned-professor at Harvard, a former member of the National Cycling Team and a pilot who led the very first all-female F-22 formation in combat. The 2021 class has been downsized from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants and will now report for work in January at the Johnson Space Center in Texas, where they will undergo two years of training.

When NASA selected Marcos as its astronaut candidate, he served as the commander of Detachment 1, 413 Flight Test Squadron and deputy director of Combined Task Force CSAR.

When Berríos is not flying he enjoys hiking, weight training and swimming.

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