Women of the Military

A Female Astronaut at NASA

Episode Summary

What does it take to become an astronaut at NASA? This week on the women of the Military podcast we are diving deep into the story of Jasmin Moghbeli and her road to becoming an astronaut at NASA. In this interview, We cover why she decided to join the military. Next, her experience as a Cobra and Test pilot. And finally, her transition to NASA.

Episode Notes

Jasmin was considering the Naval Academy when she un-expertly found out she was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend. She considered doing ROTC, but her parents encouraged her to keep her options open and helped pay for college since the ROTC scholarship was a desirable reason to sign up.

From MIT to the Marine Corps

But her desire to serve in the military never waned. She went to Officer Candidate School between her Junior and Senior year of college. She commissioned into the Marine Corps when she graduated. In the first few years of active duty, she was working to get her pilot wings. And in 2008 she began operational flying. She deployed three times from 2009 to 2012.

Deployment Loneliness

She talked about how hard it was to be the only female in her fighter pilot group. While the male 1st Lt and Captains had their own tent, she was in a tent with all the other females of all ranks and jobs. She didn’t feel the comradery her male counterparts felt. But she loved the work she did while she was over there supporting the troops on the ground and running flying operations.

After her last deployment in 2012, she reported to Naval Test Pilot School. She worked as both a developmental and operational test pilot. It was while she was an operational test pilot she applied to be an astronaut with NASA.

Becoming an astronaut at NASA

The selection process was long and required references and multiple interviews. She felt honored to be considered to be an astronaut and met amazing people through the process. She found out in May of 2017 that she was selected to begin training in August. Next, she discussed the various training that is required to be an astronaut. She continues to train for a future space flight today. In late 2020, it was announced that Jasmin would be part of the Artemis and could be one of the first women on the moon. It will be exciting to continue to watch her story.

Mentioned in this Episode

Nicole Malachowski – First Female Thunderbird Pilot

Astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli Bio

NASA website

Related Episodes:

Before Women Could Be Fighter Pilots – Episode 29

Do You Know the Stories of the WASP – Episode 49

Advice for Women Considering Military Service – Episode 100

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   


Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman00:00

Welcome to Episode 113 of the Women of the Military podcast. This week my guest is Jasmin Moghbeli, she was selected by NASA to join the 2017 astronaut candidate class and graduated in January of 2020. And December, NASA announced the names of 18 astronauts from its core to form the Artemis team and help pave the way for the next astronaut missions to the moon. Jasmin was one of those 18 astronauts selected and potentially could be one of the first women or the first to step on the moon surface. I love learning more about the space industry and what is happening. And so it's an honor and a privilege to do this interview with NASA and Jasmin. It's another great interview. So let's get started. You're listening to season three of the women on the military podcast Here you will find the real stories of female servicemembers. I'm Amanda Huffman, I am an Air Force veteran, military spouse and mom. I created women in the military podcast in 2019. As a place to share the stories of female service members past and present, with the goal of finding the heart of the story, while uncovering the triumphs and challenges women face while serving in the military. If you want to be encouraged by the stories of military women and be inspired to change the world, keep tuned for this latest episode of women on the military. So welcome to the show. Jasmine, I'm excited to have you here.


Jasmin Moghbeli01:37

Thanks, Amanda.


Amanda Huffman01:38

So let's start with why did you decide to join the military? 


Jasmin Moghbeli01:42

Well I think from a fairly young age, I know by junior high, I was already looking into the military. I think part of it was, you know, my grandfather, on my mother's side was the forester Admiral in the Iranian Navy, my grandfather on my father's side served in the Iranian military. And you know, I, I remember some stories, my grandfather told me, and I think my interest in becoming an astronaut from a young age certainly was something that got me looking into the military. And then just so many things about it appealed to me like that, you know, I'd always played on sports teams. So the camaraderie and teamwork aspect was really appealing the Kind of Adventurous side of it and getting to travel and do different things was appealing to me, I think service to country, I, you know, I think I, based on my parents background had a real appreciation for what the US had offered me in terms of opportunities. So that was really appealing to me. So I think there were just a lot of things that drew me to it. And so by junior high, I was already interested in it. And and as I got older, I just, you know, refined looking at the different branches and which one I would want to join. And by, you know, college, I ended up not doing Razzi, because you know, my parents kind of talked me out of it. But between my junior and senior years of college, I went through Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps. And after that I was pretty sad on the Marine Corps and commissioned after I graduated.


Amanda Huffman03:15

And that's interesting. So what do you think your parents deterred you from doing ROTC? Do you think that just had to do with keeping your options open? or What was that about?


Jasmin Moghbeli03:25

Yeah, I think so. I, I came really close to going to the Naval Academy. And I ended up getting into MIT, which I think for me was a bit I wasn't expecting to get accepted as MIT may be. So for me, once I, you know, wanted visited, that was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. And they, I think felt exactly like you said, you know, you're going to to MIT, you don't know what you're going to want to do when you graduate. Don't commit yourself to this. And you know, my argument was, well, you know, they'll pay for my school. So that's kind of a big, big deal and a big help. And so my parents said, Okay, we'll help pay for school. And I was like, okay, but I may end up joining anyway, which is what I did.


Amanda Huffman04:09

That's kind of that's an interesting story. And it's interesting to hear about how your parents were like, keepyour options open, and you're like, Okay, but they pay for school. And they're like, well, I'll be with that.


Jasmin Moghbeli04:20

Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it's funny, because by the time I actually did end up commissioning, so my freshman year of college, right at the beginning, I mean, I wasn't even there a month yet, when that was when 911 happened. And that obviously really changed the environment and the you know, what joining the military really meant for my future so you know, when I when it really came down to it in the post 911 world, and I decided to join the Marine Corps. You know, they definitely were concerned about it, but once I made that decision and commission, they've been nothing but supportive.


Amanda Huffman04:55

That's awesome to hear. I think parents just want to make sure we make the right decision. I feel Like my parents were a little wary. But then once I, I joined the Air Force, they were on board and same type of thing always supportive.


Jasmin Moghbeli05:08



Amanda Huffman05:09

So let's talk about it. So you joined a few years after September 11. What was it like to go active duty into the Marine Corps as an officer in those what year wasn't exactly when you graduated?


Jasmin Moghbeli05:22

So I graduated in 2005. So I commissioned after graduating in 2005. And I had an air contract. So I still had several years of training ahead of me, I went through the basic school, cuz, you know, six months in Quantico for the Marine Corps that every officer goes through. And then from there, I still had to go through flight school, so I didn't get my wings until was in June of 2008.


Amanda Huffman05:51

Now, that's a long process. I think sometimes, even though I interview people, I forget how long the process it is to go from commissioning to getting your wings and what that experience is like. So were there any challenges that you face in those years of training to become a pilot?


Jasmin Moghbeli06:09

Well, in primary, I actually I struggled a lot initially, because I, I have a pretty bad sense of direction. So that was honestly my biggest challenge was like, I would get lost flying. And so that that was for me that, you know, I had an aerospace background to the academics. As long as I studied, or in a problem, that debriefing wasn't really a problem, you know, the actual stick skills of flying, I was okay, at but I, my biggest problem was,


Amanda Huffman06:40

I would get lost. That's interesting. And kind of funny. I guess we're all humans. Right?


Jasmin Moghbeli06:49



Amanda Huffman06:50

So besides that, did that like hamper your moving forward? Or did you just deal with it and move forward through the progression? Or did that cause any, like, major setbacks in graduating,


Jasmin Moghbeli07:04

I wouldn't say cause major setbacks there was definitely there's definitely a point where, you know, I remember coming back from one flight, and we had on wings assigned to us. So you know, for most of our initial training, we were with the same instructor for consistency, and things like that. And I remember him finally saying to me, you know, I know you know, your stuff, and Please spend less time focusing on the briefing items and, and just set lay down kind of a map of the working area in your living room and juggle or do something to to distract you or so that you need to multitask, and then kind of navigate your way around your living room. And I remember coming back from from one particularly challenging flight where I didn't perform very well and him saying it's flights like these that make me question my ability to instruct. I was like, wow, that you know, that I never forgot that because that was a tough moment. And but but eventually, you know, I did what he suggested I laid down that map and juggled and walked around, and, and eventually, it clicked for me and kind of the light bulb went on. And from that point forward, I was fine.


Amanda Huffman08:19

Yeah, that's an interesting way to overcome of struggle. That's kind of a cool, cool advice that he gave you. And I'm glad that it worked. And it clicked and made it a little bit easier for you.


Jasmin Moghbeli08:30

For sure me, too.


Amanda Huffman08:33

So you graduated from pilot train and where did you go after that?


Jasmin Moghbeli08:37

So I was lucky enough to get AH-1 Whiskeys, the Super Cobras on the West Coast, which was my top choice. And so I went out to Camp Pendleton had about maybe four or five months in the squadron training to fly the Cobra specifically. And then from there, went to my first fleet Squadron, HMLA 367 SC, which was right there at Pendleton at the time there now. The squadrons now in Hawaii, but at the time, they were at Pendleton,


Amanda Huffman09:08

And what was that experience? Like? Do you have any, like favorite memories or, or even struggles that you went through? And that like that gearing up training, and then the transition into being operational?


Jasmin Moghbeli09:20

Yeah, I think for me, so I joined the squadron shortly after they had just gotten back from Iraq, and we're preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan. So I had the full time with the squadron to work up, you know, get my initial qualifications that I needed to basically be a co pilot for that deployment. And then we we left for that that first deployment and we were out of Camp Bastion in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. And for me, you know, the actual work we did there as a cobra pilot, we had we we had there was a lot of work for us to do there, I'll say that. And so it was rewarding, being able to, you know, know that when we flew overhead, those Marines or, or other troops on the ground really appreciated our being there and kind of the protection we offered. So in that regard, it was really satisfying. I think the hardest part for me was, I was the only female in my peer group and the only female Cobra pilot. And so that created kind of a sense of isolation because all my fellow, you know, first lieutenants and junior captains shared a tent to get there. And I was in another tent with all every single woman in the squadron, you know, from the Lance Corporal up to the captains. And so that was, I think, the most challenging part.


Amanda Huffman10:53

Yeah, that's a common theme that I've heard from other women who've deployed being one of the only females or it's interesting, I like all the males were in one tent together. So there was probably a lot of camaraderie between them. And they spent a lot of time together, and then you were in another tent. So you were separate, and kind of not an outsider, but kind of feeling like an outsider, because you weren't in that same environment as everybody else.


Jasmin Moghbeli11:20

Yeah. And because they, you know, that the tent of my peers, it was, it was just our peer group, you know, they weren't with junior or senior people, it was just them. And they had all that time to kind of bond. And, you know, for me, I was in a in a separate tent, really not with anyone from my peer group. You know, there, there was one other female officer but but we were for the most part on opposite shifts, and, and she was also more senior to me at the time. And so it just, you know, you're already deployed and away from your friends and family. And that, to me, was by far the hardest part of it.


Amanda Huffman11:59

Yeah, that loneliness. I was really lucky when I deployed because I deployed with another Lieutenant and I, at the time, I didn't realize how lucky I was to have that friend, you know, that person that I could hang out with and spend time with. And after doing the podcast and talking to enough women, I realized how lucky I was just to have her there and not experienced that same type of loneliness. So that makes a lot of sense.


Jasmin Moghbeli12:25

Yeah, I think it makes a big difference having that.


Amanda Huffman12:28

Yeah, I felt really lucky. There were only two female civil engineers. I went on a prt. And we were on the same team. And I was like, I don't know how that happened. But, I'm so happy that it did.


Jasmin Moghbeli12:39

Yeah, for sure.


Amanda Huffman12:40

So are there any highlights that you want to talk about about your military career before we start diving into the I guess, the exciting part for me? So I'm, my husband and I are all about NASA and the space stuff going on? So is there anything from your military career that you want to talk about before we dive into switch and how that all happened?


Jasmin Moghbeli12:59

I think that deployment, although you know, there were aspects of it that were very challenging. That was a highlight for me, personally, because as a cobra pod, I was doing exactly what I trained to do, you know, as my first deployment. So certainly, in some ways, the most memorable, did two deployments after that, which, you know, I think, I think like anything else, for me that people are what really stand out and make things memorable throughout. And then my, you know, my time I think, as a test pilot, I also really enjoyed.


Amanda Huffman13:30

Yeah, so let's talk about being a test pilot, because from what I understand, that's part of the path to becoming an astronaut, if I understand it, right, why did you decide to apply to become a test pilot? For me?


Jasmin Moghbeli13:42

There were several reasons. One, so you know, I've dreamed of being an astronaut since I was a kid. And you know, I tell people that at times that was at the forefront of my mind, and at times, it was very much in the background. During the years I was deploying, it was very much in the background, but but as I was on my third deployment, and I knew I was, you know, nearing the end of that toward and moving on to a bibelot. He got me thinking again, hey, what, what do I want to do? Where, where do I want to go in the future? And I kind of remembered that, you know, hey, this astronaut thing was something you you're you've always been interested in since you were a kid and becoming a test pilot. For me with my background as an engineer, and my operational experience a just a combined two things that I love. And so it wasn't even a question of applying. It was just a matter of whether I got it or not.


Amanda Huffman14:41

So what's the application process? Like? Is it really competitive to become a test pilot? Or what's that experience? Like?


Jasmin Moghbeli14:48

I think, like most things in the military, it depends on timing. And, you know, they're looking to fill test pilots slots in different you know, for different aircraft into different platforms. At different times, so it, it partially depends on the need. And and how many people depend to a plot, you know, just decide to apply at that time. And so I honestly, I don't know how competitive it was the time I applied, or how many other people applied for that slot, I think, you know, generally tends to be a fairly competitive thing. But the application process itself, I don't remember a detail. I know, you know, we have a board that basically selects people on, we had to submit all our qualifications and flight time, and I think our you know, scores from college or GPA, all that sort of thing factored into it.


Amanda Huffman15:39

Yeah. And so then you got selected and what do you go to school to learn how to be a test pilot? And then or how does that all work?


Jasmin Moghbeli15:46

Yeah, absolutely. So school, the school is I went to the US Naval Test Pilot School, there are a couple of different ones. And it's, it's just under a year, about 10-11 months total of training. And the big kind of running joke there is you spend half the day flying half the day in class and half the day report writing, which, you know, obviously doesn't really add up. So it's a very time consuming class and the flying aspect, of course, you get to fly many different aircrafts. I think I flew over 20 different aircraft in my time there, but you always know after you do a flight, you're gonna have to pay for it by writing a report about it. So that's kind of the payback every time you get to fly a cool aircraft. Like, Oh, I got to fly. That's really cool airplane, but now I have to write a report. That's kind of interesting. And I've heard that about Test Pilot School. It's really intense and time consuming. 


Amanda Huffman16:43

And I like your half half half. That math doesn't work. But that's what I was. That's a good way to explain it. 


Jasmin Moghbeli16:50

Yeah. And, and no single part of it is that challenging. It's just the combination of everything and trying to prioritize your time and what my, you know, one of my bosses who I worked for right before going to test pilot school, he knew me pretty well. And he was also a test pilot. And he said, you know, Jaws I know you're a perfectionist, but perfect is the enemy of good enough. And you need to remember that when you're there and that that was really good advice for me because you do have to you can't spend your time making every single thing perfect. You have to know a good enough is and and prioritize your time between all the different competing interests.


Amanda Huffman17:32

Yeah, that's a great quote, and probably something that you've stuck. Has it stuck with you throughout your career? I just some quotes stay with you forever. And the fact that you brought it up, I wonder if it stuck with you as you continue your career forward?


Jasmin Moghbeli17:45

It's definitely something I I try to remind myself of, I think, you know, I definitely still have a tendency to be a perfectionist. And so it is something I have to constantly remind myself of, yeah,


Amanda Huffman17:57

It's hard to not be a perfectionist. I know what that's like. Yeah. So you graduated from Test Pilot School and you started Did you go to your your? I'm I'm gonna say base because I'm Air Force, but I know that's wrong. Where did you go? 


Jasmin Moghbeli18:14

Yeah, so I was stationed immediately after. So I went to China Lake California. Ridgecrest did a tour doing developmental test out there with Vx 31. I was mostly flying the upgraded Cobras and hueys. The H one Zulus and new h one Yankees. And while I was there, I think I'd been there about a year and a half or two years, they actually made the decision to move all those aircraft, the Cobras and hueys out of China Lake and they consolidated developmental test, you know, on the east coast and impacts river, Maryland. And at the same time, we're standing up and integrated Operational Test Squadron for the Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona. And so I ended up moving to Yuma, Arizona, and kind of helping stand up that Squadron and switching over from developmental test to Operational Test.


Amanda Huffman19:13

That sounds really interesting. What was the main difference between developmental and Operational Test?


Jasmin Moghbeli19:21

Basically, things go through developmental test first, and in developmental tests are the ones looking at does this meet the requirements? We're also paying attention to, you know, does it serve the purpose for the mission? But we're really testing does this meet the requirements and aircraft performance and the systems that are on the aircraft, whether those are, you know, weapon systems, navigation systems, whatever they are, when it comes to operational tests, the focus is really on the mission. And, you know, does this allow us to meet mission and so that's the primary focus for operational test


Amanda Huffman19:59

That's really interesting. Was it during this time that you decided to apply to become an astronaut?


Jasmin Moghbeli20:05

Yes. So, I was I was stationed in Yuma at the Operational Test Squadron when NASA announced they were accepting another class for 2017. And that's, that's when I decided to put in an application.


Amanda Huffman20:19

And what was the experience? Like you said, it had been a dream, since you were a little, so was waiting to find out if you got in like torture?


Jasmin Moghbeli20:27

Yes. And there was a lot of it. Yes. So you first Initially, I just put in my application into USA Jobs. It's basically like, you know, a long resume. And they're, you know, a summary of my aeronautical experience and a couple other things, but the initial application, you put that in, and then you're just waiting for months and months, and the first indication that you've kind of made it to the next step is if your references get contacted, so you know, down to five references, and if they hear something, that's, that's kind of your next indication. And I, I had actually told my references, hey, please let me know if you get contacted so that I know and none of them told me. So I actually thought I had been cut. And was, was pretty disappointed, because I felt this was the time in my career that I would have the best application to submit. And I was like, why, you know, I didn't, I didn't even make it to the references around. That's pretty disappointing. And it turns out, just none of them had told me that which I eventually found out. And then after that, you wait another several months. And eventually, I finally got a call from NASA asking me to come in for the first round of interviews. And that was, I want to say in the fall of 2016, and so when in for that, and they had us come in about groups of 10. And it was about three days long. And it's really, it's an incredible experience. Like even if I hadn't gotten it, which I'm really glad I did, it would have certainly been a memorable experience, getting to come down here and meet the other applicants who I was very impressed with and and meet the people here at Johnson Space Center. And then you know, I go home and wait another several months and eventually get a call back. I think I came in for the second round, second and final round of interviews, I want to say in February of 2017. And that was again, you know, 10 people at a time. But that was a week long here at Johnson Space Center. And then after that went home and waited and you know, it didn't find out until May, the end of May is when they called and asked if I still want to join the 2017 class of astronauts. Of course, I said yes.


Amanda Huffman22:42

That's a lot. A lot of waiting. And man a bummer that your references didn't be like, hey, guess what you're like, kind of disappointed? And then yeah,


Jasmin Moghbeli22:53

Yeah, it's okay. I went through a period of being very disappointed. And then very excited when I found out they actually had been contacted.


Amanda Huffman23:00

Yeah, well, that's, that's really interesting. And I don't think people realize, I guess not how competitive but like how much of a process it is to go through the process to become an astronaut. I didn't know that it took so much long with the application, and the references and the interviews, and then the interviews and all the waiting in between. So that's really interesting. So let's talk about your training to become an astronaut. What was that, like? Honestly,


Jasmin Moghbeli23:26

There are parts of it that were very challenging, but overall, really, really fun and rewarding. So, you know, we kind of have, I'd say, five main areas that we focus on during initial training, but there are also so many other varied things we're learning throughout that time. So you know, learning the systems on the International Space Station, flying the T 38, jets, learning to speak Russian learning how to do spacewalks. And then learning how to operate the robotic arm are kind of the big sections, but we also do geology training. And we you know, we do actual field field work for that, which was incredibly interesting. We do some biomedical training, you know, we have some dental and medical classes here and there. And so they're just so many different things. And we did a bunch of expeditionary training as well to include doing a nose course the national Outdoor Leadership School. So it's, you know, no day is the same and, and for me, you know, I grew up as one of those kids who I couldn't decide which clubs I wanted to join, because I wanted to join all of them. So for me, I love the fact that we got to do so many different things.


Amanda Huffman24:43

And that sounds really interesting. And how long is the training to become an astronaut?


Jasmin Moghbeli24:49

The initial training was about two years. So we let's see, we started at the end of August of 2017, and we graduated in January. This year.


Amanda Huffman25:02

Yeah, so I knew it was long. So I just wanted to make sure the listeners knew how long it was. Because that I mean, you learn all those different things, but over a pretty long period of time, and it sounds like it was just so interesting. And as you still work at NASA, and you're not an astronaut, are you still learning new things? Or is it or what's going on in your like, day to day job now? 


Jasmin Moghbeli25:26

Yeah, absolutely. So, I think it's kind of similar to the military where it's one of those jobs where training never ends. It's pretty continuous. And so you know, after that initial training, you just move right into pre assignment training. So you know, your robotics training continues, just getting the higher level qualifications, I still take a few Russian classes, every week one on one classes, I learned how to become, you know, a Capcom and a ground IV. And so the training absolutely continues. But in addition to that, after we graduated, we also got assigned technical duties, which, for me was very similar to you know, in the Marine Corps as a, as a pilot, we also get assigned our ground job. And so it was very analogous to that. And so for mine, I've been working in our exploration branch, which deals with all the spacecraft and ground systems that we're going to be using to go to the moon and then eventually further on to Mars. So basically, past low Earth orbit, and my focus specifically has been mostly on the human Landing System, or the next generation of lunar landers.


Amanda Huffman26:35

Sounds really cool. So interesting, and so exciting. There's so much stuff happening in like the space arena with the space force coming in. And then as we're recording this, the second or I guess, the official launch with SpaceX happened this past weekend, which is really exciting to see all the things happening with NASA and SpaceX and, and the space arena. So you're doing training, and then you're doing your core job, do you know when you'll get a chance to go to space? Or how does that all work?


Jasmin Moghbeli27:05

No, I don't know. So it will just all depend on what I'm assigned to admission. And, you know, that's one of those things where, though our class graduated with 13 people, so you know, any one of us could get assigned, basically, at any time. And so for some people, you know, that will happen in the very near future. And for some people, that will happen, maybe in a couple years. And so it really just depends, but as you said, there, it's it's a very exciting time for human space exploration. And they're more mission sets, then more varied mission sets, I think, that are possible to be assigned to then really, at any point before in history, so it's that aspect of it is very exciting. But I don't know exactly when I'll be assigned.


Amanda Huffman27:53

That sounds like the military to.


Jasmin Moghbeli27:55

Yeah, that definitely carries over.


Amanda Huffman27:58

Yeah, it just sounds so exciting to be like on the leading edge of just, I can't wait to see what happens over the next 10 years, just watching what's been happening so far. And it's just really exciting to see. So when you get the chance to go to the space, what are you most excited about? or looking forward to?


Jasmin Moghbeli28:20

For me, something I've heard a lot of astronauts talk about is how, looking back at the Earth from Space kind of just changes you. And I think, you know, it's something we can sit here and try to think about on Earth, like, okay, we're just kind of a small planet in the grand scheme of things, you know, really small planet in the grand scheme of the vastness of space, but being able to actually kind of see that with your own eyes and get a real sense for it. I think I really look forward to having that experience. Because it's hard when you're, you know, when you're sitting here on Earth, and it seems so big, and it holds everyone we know and love. And so that to me, I think will be really exciting.


Amanda Huffman29:09

Yeah, that that's kind of funny, because I was if I also go into space, that's the same thing that I was like, that would be the coolest thing to just look at Earth from above, because you see it in pictures, but I know it can't be the same as when you're actually in space.


Jasmin Moghbeli29:24

Yeah, I mean, for me, I remember just the first time I went to the Grand Canyon, you know, I'd seen many pictures of it. And even that I remember just being an on being like, wow, like, you know, the pictures just don't do it justice. And I think I was afraid when I got there, I would be underwhelmed because, you know, I've seen so many pictures of it, but when I first like, you know, stood on the rim and looked out over the Grand Canyon, I was just amazed and I imagine it's, it's that, you know, times a factor of however many 10 or whatever. But


Amanda Huffman29:56

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That's a great analogy, and a great way to talk about it there anything else from your time at NASA that you wanted to talk about or, or even from your military career in general,


Jasmin Moghbeli30:08

I think, similar to the military, one of the things I was most impressed with, when I got here was the people at Johnson Space Center, you know, I knew a lot of people went into these missions and accomplishing them, but, but when you get here and realize, hey, when I'm training in a Neutral Buoyancy Lab, to learn how to do spacewalks, there are so many people there, you know, the diversity of safety people, the people controlling the environmental is in my suit, the cobs the people that are the test directors and test coordinators, and just the how many people go behind preparing each of us astronauts for these missions. And actually, you know, the engineering and manufacturing and everything that makes these missions possible. I was really impressed by that. And also, by the humility of everyone in the astronaut office, you would think, you know, I came in thinking, wow, these, these people are so incredible. They, you know, they must think they're, you know, the greatest and everyone was so humble. And, and so kind and willing, you know, despite being so busy, to always offer to those of us in the junior class and give us guidance. And, you know, my mentor spent hours watching videos of me and the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, because that was the thing I struggled with most and giving me tips. And so it's just really impressed with the the people here,


Amanda Huffman31:41

It sounds like more than just a job like a community and a family of people that are supporting each other. And I bet the energy, especially with all the things happening, there's an excitement, and just a push to make everybody better to make the whole organization better. That's really cool.


Jasmin Moghbeli32:00

Yeah, there's definitely there's definitely excitement. And you know, you can tell like when we launch Bob, and Doug on the first basic mission, and, you know, we launched Mike Victor bash, and and so he the other day, there's, you know, people get emotional at the success of these. So, you know, there's a lot of passion and a lot of caring behind behind all the work that goes into it. And you're right, it's definitely it's more than just a job.


Amanda Huffman32:26

Yeah, that's really cool. So my last question is going to be, what advice would you give to young women who are considered or who are interested in becoming an astronaut?


Jasmin Moghbeli32:36

Well, I guess a couple things. So, in my opinion is you should never do something just because you think it will get you to being an astronaut. You know, if you look at just my class, or even the astronaut office as a whole, so many people took so many different paths to getting to this point. And I think every single one of us would be willing to admit, there's also some luck involved, you know, I could have done everything, everything, right, quote, unquote, throughout my life, and still not a pig been picked up for this. So I think it's really important to make sure everything that you do, you're, you're doing things that you love and care about and are passionate about, and just not closing the door to becoming an astronaut. And then the other thing, and something that I think has been the hardest for me to internalize and, and maybe it's more so as a woman, or maybe it's not, but was just really believing that I belonged. And, you know, that I mean, that throughout my career, you know, in the military, and, you know, at test PA school, and coming here to NASA, there are so many times where I felt like, wow, you know, these these people around me are, are just so incredible, you know, how did I, how did I get here? How am I with them? And, you know, you need to have that kind of, I think quiet confidence of of knowing the value you bring, you know, you do belong. So I think that's something that's really important, especially for young woman to hear.


Amanda Huffman34:16

Yeah, that's great advice. And I really like that you said, like, you could do everything right. And it's a little bit of luck and timing. I had Nicole malkowski on my podcast, and she talked about how like, sometimes the stars just align, and you're in the right place at the right time, and everything works out, and sometimes it doesn't, and there's nothing you can do about it. So I think that's a good reminder to just do your best.


Jasmin Moghbeli34:39

Yeah, for sure. And, and I feel incredibly lucky to be here and you know, I can acknowledge, you know, all the hard work I did to get here etc. But I also met like during that selection process. I've met a lot of other people who 100% could have been sitting here in my shoes or in any any one of our shoes, so there's just no denying that there. some luck and like you said the stars aligning to get me and the others who are here to this position.


Amanda Huffman35:06

Well, thank you so much for your time I really learned a lot and I really enjoyed hearing your experience of your military career and then what you've done at NASA so far, and I'm excited to watch for your name on a future mission.


Jasmin Moghbeli35:19



Amanda Huffman35:27

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