ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 23 (UPI) — Experience, charisma — and previous exposure to radiation in space — will guide NASA’s history-making decision to choose the first woman who walks on the moon, according to those familiar with space agency operations.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said the woman selected will be an experienced astronaut who has flown on space missions. Ten current astronauts meet that criteria, and more could soon.
In addition to expertise, NASA will look at the ability to perform well on high-profile missions and to connect with the public, space exploration observers said.
Some of the most experienced astronauts could be ruled out if they have too much radiation exposure, according to space medicine experts.
Among the potential moon mission candidates, astronauts Christina Koch, 41, and Jessica Meir, 43, raised their profiles earlier this year by carrying out the first-ever all-female spacewalk while stationed on the International