The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is getting ready for the upcoming Artemis mission in 2024. The agency's immediate plan is to design and build a base and transport astronauts -- including the first woman to set foot -- on the moon. NASA designed the Artemis mission as a stepping stone to future manned missions to Mars and the trip to the moon is the primary testbed for the mission.
Recently, NASA announced the first batch of astronauts to train under the Artemis program after their formal graduation from the two-year basic astronaut training. Out of 18,000 applicants, 11 astronauts from the agency were chosen and 2 astronauts were chosen from the Canadian Space Agency. The astronauts are deemed capable of doing spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and someday, to Mars. These astronauts completed training in spacewalking, robotics, got familiar with the systems within the International Space Station, mastered T-38 jet proficiency, and the Russian language. According to NASA's press release, their primary tasks as astronauts are to develop and tweak spacecraft and support the teams that are currently in space...
(Among those listed is Jessica Watkins.)
Jessica is from Lafayette, Colorado and she earned her degree in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She got her doctorate degree in Geology from the University of California Los Angeles. She used to work at NASA's Ames Research Center and in Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She then obtained her doctorate degree at the California Institute of Technology where she was able to work on NASA's Curiousity Rover.