Nicosia, Cyprus (Commonwealth Union)_Her dream was to become an astronaut and she never strayed from that focus. Twenty two year old Eleni Charitonos is now one step closer to achieving her lifelong dream. Charitonos who holds Cypriot and American citizenship will begin an internship at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in January. The internship is doubly exciting for the young aspiring astronaut as the overall acceptance rate at NASA for the internship is just five per cent, and Charitonos was among thousands of applicants in the fray.
Charitonos is billed to work with Artificial Intelligence tools and will be located at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio, assisting manned missions to Mars and the moon with special focus on medical monitoring and medical assistance for astronauts. A whiz at mathematics and statistical machine learning during her years at Glasgow University at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, her first mission will be to contribute towards a project which is part of NASA’s Artemis mission.
NASA’s Artemis Mission is aimed at landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon collaborating with international partners to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. This step will lead to the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.
Charitonos who donned a heavy spacesuit for the first time during her simulation astronaut mission, completed her training as an analog astronaut at the LunAre Research Space Station in Poland at the Space Exploration Center HI-SEAS in Hawaii. The opportunity to work with leading space scientists on the Artemis Mission and its leaps into space for mankind, will certainly open new horizons for this young woman who loves her spacesuit with such passion that she wishes it could be her pyjamas and she could sleep in it.