Indian-American astronaut Raja J Chari has been nominated by President Joe Biden for the appointment to the grade of Air Force brigadier general. The nomination was announced on Thursday and will have to be confirmed by the Senate which approves all senior civilian and military appointments, according to the US Defence Department.
Air Force Colonel Chari, 45, was nominated for the appointment to the grade of brigadier general, it said in a statement.
Chari is currently serving as the Crew-3 commander and astronaut, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center, Texas.
He earned a master’s degree in aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Chari served as the commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
He is inspired by his father Srinivas Chari, who went to the US at a young age from Hyderabad for an engineering degree, to get a higher education and make a successful career. He met his wife and spent his entire career at John Deere in Waterloo.
In 2020, Chari was selected as the Commander of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by NASA and the European Space Agency.
Chari joins this mission with extensive experience as a test pilot. He has accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time in his career.
Brigadier General (BG) is a one-star General Officer rank of the United States Air Force. It is just above Colonel and below Major General.