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NASA astronaut Raja Chari SM ’01 and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer performed a spacewalk to help maintain the crucial cooling systems aboard the International Space Station (ISS), reports Ed Browne for Newsweek. “Spacewalks are an important part of life on the space station,” writes Browne. “Also called an extravehicular activity (EVA), a spacewalk is when an astronaut or cosmonaut gets out of the ISS whilst wearing a pressurized and oxygenated space suit that protects them from the vacuum of space.”


Marcos Berríos ‘06, Christina Birch PhD ‘15 and Christopher Williams PhD ’12 have been selected as part of NASA’s 2021 astronaut candidate class, reports WBUR’s Bill Chappell. “Alone, each candidate has ‘the right stuff,’ but together they represent the creed of our country: E pluribus unum – out of many, one,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The Boston Globe

Marcos Berríos ‘06, Christina Birch PhD ‘15, Christopher Williams PhD ‘12 are among the ten astronauts selected for the 2021 NASA astronaut class, reports Breanna Kovatch for The Boston Globe. “The class of astronauts were selected from among 12,000 candidates and is the first class in four years,” writes Kovatch.


Prof. Jeffrey A. Hoffman will be featured in the Boston Jewish Film Festival in a new documentary called “Space Torah,” reports WBUR writer Erin Trahan. The documentary includes some of Hoffman’s proudest moments as an astronaut, “a brief history of human space exploration [and] how Hoffman turned his intergalactic childhood wonder into a remarkable career,” writes Trahan.


Astronaut Raja Chari SM ‘01 was among the four astronauts on the Crew-3 mission that departed Wednesday for a six-month science and research mission, reports CNN writer Jackie Wattles. “The research the Crew-3 astronauts will oversee includes an attempt to grow a ‘perfect crystal’ to enhance our understanding of biological processes, a test of the impact of diet on astronaut health, and the testing of a smartphone video guidance sensor for guidance, navigation, and control of the Astrobee free-flying robot,” explains Wattles.


Wired reporter Sarah Scoles spotlights how graduate students Thomas Abitante and Rachel Bellisle, both Draper Scholars, are developing new spacesuits and muscle toning devices that could help keep astronauts healthy while in space. “We need to make sure they're as healthy as possible,” says Abitante. “But we can't really add more exercise. So what else can we add?”

Los Angeles Times

Prof. Jeff Hoffman speaks with Los Angeles Times reporter Deborah Netburn about the importance of sending a woman to the moon. “When people ask when I knew I wanted to be an astronaut, I always say that like every other red-blooded boy, I was inspired by the men who flew on Apollo,” he said. “Unfortunately, the red-blooded girls didn’t have those role models.”


Researchers have developed a handheld device, inspired by spiders, to allow people to move in zero-gravity, writes Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard. “I want to be able to move freely in 3D space,” explains Xin Liu, arts curator at the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, “so I design the technologies that allow me to do that.”

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, Prof. Marcia Bartusiak writes about Scott Kelly’s new memoir of his record-setting year on the International Space Station. Bartusiak writes that the book, “offers Earthlings an informative and gripping look at both the adventures and day-by-day experiences of living in a metal container that is orbiting Earth at 17,500 mph.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Alumna Jasmin Moghbeli speaks with NPR’s Emma Bowman about being selected for NASA astronaut training. Moghbeli, one of three trainees with MIT ties, explains that she hopes to inspire girls of color. “If they can see someone similar to them that they can relate to more, then it makes it all that much more possible…to imagine doing this.”

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Karen Kaplan writes that NASA’s newest class of astronaut trainees includes Prof. Warren Hoburg and MIT alumni Raja Chari and Jasmin Moghbeli. “These would-be astronauts were chosen from among more than 18,300 applicants,” notes Kaplan. “That means their odds of being selected were less than 1 in 1,500.”’s Katia Moskvitch writes that a team led by MIT Professor Jeffrey Hoffman has suggested new, cost-efficient techniques for establishing gas stations in space. The stations would be used to fuel future missions to the Moon.