One of the two locals selected could be the first woman to set foot on the lunar surface.
Born in Petaluma, Marine Lt. Colonel Nicole Mann was one of 18 astronauts named to the Artemis team.
She gave a clear and concise answer as to why should she be the first woman on the moon.
“Because I’ll be trained and ready to go, I tell you,” Mann says. “Honestly, I think that any of the astronauts selected will do an incredible job in executing that mission.”
Mann is a fighter pilot and mechanical engineer by training, but she has already spent the past seven years learning a wide range of skills needed for lunar missions.
She says her passion for exploration traces back to growing up in the Bay Area.
“I love to get outdoors and explore,” Mann says. “I think the Bay Area is a great place for that, but never did I realize that I would have the opportunity to go to space and even one day go to the moon.”
The love of outdoors is a shared trait with Woody Hoburg, who received his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.
In his spare time, he did volunteer search & rescue missions in Yosemite.
The Berkeley alum says fascination with rockets started when he was growing up.
“I got really interested in building large rockets in my parents’ garage, and it sort of became a passion of mine early on,” Hoburg explains.
Who among the 18 Artemis astronauts will walk on the moon will be decided later; those not selected may do low-orbit tasks.
Like many scientific wonders, the moon has always been mysterious and fascinating from Earth.
“The thought that we’re going to go there now and explore. I think I’ll probably be really excited to go outside and what it really feels like to walk around in 1/6th G,” says Hoburg.
Both Mann and Hoburg will certainly give the Bay Area some bragging rights.