NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann became the first Native American woman to travel to space when she took off on the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission last week as the mission commander. She is also the first woman to hold a commander title on a SpaceX mission. Mann is a member of the Wailacki tribe of the Round Valley reservation and has a background as a Marine Corps pilot. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that Mann realized her dreams of becoming an astronaut, which are now becoming a reality. Aboard the rocket, Mann has her wedding rings, a dream catcher from her mother, and a gift for her family. Mann and her three crewmates will stay at the International Space Station for five months, where they will work in the orbiting laboratory.
Image via John Raoux / Associated Press
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