HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS, Va. --
Marine Corps Col. Nicole Mann successfully launched into space from Kennedy Space Center today, making history as the Corps’ first woman to lead a National Aeronautics and Space Administration space flight.
Mann was the first woman from the Marine Corps to join NASA in 2013 and become a mission commander of SpaceX Crew-5.
“Today marks another major milestone for the Marine Corps as we recognize the contributions of Col. Mann—a proven warfighter with several dozen combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan—and now the first female Marine to be a NASA mission commander,” said Gen. David H. Berger, the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
As the mission commander of SpaceX Crew-5, Mann leads a diverse crew of international astronauts and is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. Mann will also serve as an Expedition 68 flight engineer; the expedition starts upon the crew’s launch and expands through their time at the International Space Station to conduct research and testing until they decouple from the ISS.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 authorized the Space Administration and the Department of Defense to enter into agreements allowing Marines to serve with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The Marine Corps takes pride of the historic contributions and accomplishments of Col. Mann in the history of the space program, following a distinguished lineage of others such as Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Col. John Glenn, and Lt. Col. Carlos Noriega, demonstrating that in “every clime and place” there are Marines.