Breaking News
More () »

Glass ceiling shattered: NASA sent the first indigenous woman into space

Nicole Mann made history on Wednesday as not only the first indigenous woman from NASA to go to space, but as the Marine Corps' first woman to lead a space flight.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida — Another glass ceiling was shattered Wednesday when Nicole Mann became the first indigenous woman to make it to space.

NASA's SpaceX crew lifted off around noon on Wednesday, Oct. 5th on a six-month mission to conduct research including a study on heart health and human tissue printing. Mann headed the expedition as mission commander, making history again as the Marine Corps' first woman to lead a National Aeronautics and Space Administration space flight.

Mann was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1999. Following graduate school, she completed The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia and reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, for flight training in 2001. She earned her wings of gold as a Naval Aviator in 2003 and reported to VFA-106 for fleet training in the F/A-18C.

She began her operational flying career in 2004 with the Thunderbolts of VMFA-251 based out of Beaufort, South Carolina. During this assignment, she deployed twice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mann was selected by NASA in 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class.

Mann completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015.

After which, she served as the T-38 Safety and Training Officer and as the Assistant to the Chief Astronaut for Exploration where she led the astronaut corps in the development of the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems for missions to the Moon.

She has also received numerous awards including two Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various unit commendations.  

Mann is registered with the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes.


 NASA telescopes capture stunning images of asteroid strike

'Extraordinary' views expected as Jupiter makes closest approach in decades

 NASA releases stunning Webb telescope images of Neptune and its rings

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.


Before You Leave, Check This Out