Jessica Watkins is an American NASA astronaut, geologist, aquanaut, and former international rugby player. She was the first Black woman astronaut to join the International Space Station crew in April 2022. She played rugby during her freshman year at Stanford and remained on the team for four years. She started her NASA career at the Ames Research Center to support the Mars Phoenix lander and prototype Mars drill testing. In 2009, she became chief geologist for the NASA Spaceward Bound Crew 86 at the Mars Desert Research Station. In November 2021, she became the 4th astronaut of Group 22, and the first Black woman, to be assigned a long-duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS) after being chosen as the final member of SpaceX Crew-4, which launched in April 2022. It is Watkins’ first time in space. She is serving as a mission specialist for the six-month mission.
NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins famous for
- Being a NASA astronaut, geologist, aquanaut, and former international rugby player.
- Being the first Black woman who will complete an International Space Station long-term mission in April 2022.
Jessica Watkins Early Life: Parents, Ethnicity, Education
Jessica Watkins was born on 14 May 1988 with the birth name Jessica Andrea Watkins. Her birthplace is Gaithersburg, Maryland, the USA. She is American by nationality and her ethnicity is American-Black. She is the daughter of her father, Michael Watkins, and her mother, Carolyn Watkins. Her family then moved to Lafayette, Colorado. She graduated from Fairview High School. She completed her bachelor’s degree in geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University and was also a member of the rugby team. After Stanford, Watkins earned a Ph.D. in geology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to her selection as an astronaut candidate, Watkins was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, where she was also an assistant coach to the women’s basketball team. Her present age is 34 as of 2022.
Jessica Watkins Astronaut Career
- Jessica was a former rugby player who played rugby during her freshman year at Stanford and remained on the team for four years.
- During her sophomore year, she was a member of the Division I national champion team in 2008.
- She became a member of First Team Collegiate Rugby All-American in 2008 and 2010.
- Also, she is a former American women’s national team rugby player for the sevens and played for the USA Eagles in its 3rd-place finish at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
- After her rugby career, she worked at the Ames Research Center to support the Mars Phoenix lander and prototype Mars drill testing as an undergraduate.
- She was chief geologist for the NASA Spaceward Bound Crew 86 at the Mars Desert Research Station in 2009.
- She worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the NEOWISE project to survey near-Earth asteroids as a graduate student.
- She served as a science operations team member for an analog mission in 2011.
- Also, she served as a planner for the Mars 2020 rover and a Mars sample-return mission and was a science team member for a Desert Research and Technology Studies analog mission.
- In addition to this, she participated in the daily planning of the Mars rover activities and uses its image data combined with orbital data to investigate the stratigraphy, geology, and geomorphology of Mars as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, and as a collaborator on the Mars Science Laboratory Science Team.
- Next, she was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Group 22 in June 2017 and began her two-year training in August.
- She also participated in NEEMO mission 23 from June 10 to June 22, 2019.
- She was selected to be a part of the Artemis Team to return humans to the Moon in December 2020.
- In November 2021, she became the 4th astronaut of Group 22, and the first Black woman, to be assigned a long-duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS) after being chosen as the final member of SpaceX Crew-4, which launched in April 2022. This was her first time in space.
- At present, she is serving as a mission specialist for the six-month mission where her role involves observing and photographing geological changes on Earth, as well as other investigations into Earth and space science, biological science, and the effects of long-duration spaceflight on humans.
Awards and Achievements
- Jessica Watkins Day, April 19th, 2022, City of Lafayette, Colorado
- Stanford Earth Early- to Mid-Career Alumni Award, 2018
- Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Chair’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2015
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, California Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), 2015
- NASA Group Achievement Award, Mars Science Laboratory Prime Mission Science and Operations Team, 2015
- Harold and Mayla Sullwold Scholarship for Academic Excellence and Outstanding Original Research, UCLA Department of Earth and Space Sciences, 2012
- Graduate Research Fellowship in Geosciences, National Science Foundation, 2012
- Diversity in the Geosciences Minority Research Grant Award, Geological Society of America, 2011
- Chancellor’s Prize, UCLA, 2010
- California Space Grant Consortium Fellowship, 2010
- Division I College Rugby National Champion, Stanford Women’s Rugby, 2008
- USA Rugby Collegiate All-American, 2008-2010
- Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup Semi-finalist, USA Eagles, 2009
Who is Jessica Watkins’ partner?
Jessica Watkins is not married yet and she is assumed to be single at present. She seems to be currently focusing on her career rather than being in a relationship. She remains silent when it comes to her personal life. Her sexual orientation is straight. There is no news about her rumors and affairs in the media.
How much is Jessica Watkins worth?
Jessica Watkins is a NASA astronaut, geologist, aquanaut, and former international rugby player whose net worth is estimated to have between $1 Million – $5 Million as of 2022. She lives a lavish lifestyle at present. She has not disclosed her exact salary, earnings, and asset details. Her main source of wealth comes from her astronaut career.
How tall is Jessica Watkins?
Jessica Watkins is a beautiful lady with a height of 5 feet. She has brown eyes and her hair is black. Details about her weight and other body size are still to get unfolded yet. She has got a healthy body with a glowing face.