Tar Heel Alum Heading For Space
It almost sounds like the name of a children’s cartoon, “Tar Heels In Space.” In reality, it’s much cooler than a cartoon. UNC Chapel Hill graduate Zena Cardman is part of an upcoming mission to space. Cardman is a Virginia native, but earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Master’s of Science in Marine Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined NASA’s astronaut training program in 2017.
I grew up in the shadow of The Johnson Space Center in Houston. As such, just about every kid I knew and grew up with, at some point, said, “I wanna be an astronaut.” Zena Cardman actually did it.
Cardman now adds to her impressive academic resume with being one of the four-member NASA SpaceX Crew-9 mission. Joining Cardman, NASA announced the rest of the crew of the Dragon Spacecraft as Pilot Nick Hague, Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mission Specialist Aleksandr Gorbunov.
According to CBS17, “This is the ninth rotational mission to the space station under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The program’s goal is to deliver on safe, reliable, and cost-effective human transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States through a partnership with American private industry.”
UNC Chapel Hill alum Zena Cardman and her fellow crew members are set to conduct a wide-ranging set of operational and research activities once aboard the International Space Station. An exact date as not be specified for the mission, but it will not commence any earlier than August.