By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities native is among the 10 members of NASA’s 2021 astronaut class.

Dr. Anil Menon, 45, of Minneapolis, is part of the space agency’s first astronaut class in four years. He and the other nine members were named at an event Monday near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Menon, a lieutenant colonel in U.S. Air Force, will report to duty in January, beginning two years of training at the Johnson Space Center. He’ll learn about operating and maintaining the International Space Station, develop skills in robotics, learn to fly a supersonic training jet, and prepare for space walks.

(credit: NASA)_

Menon is no stranger to space flight. He was SpaceX’s flight surgeon on the company’s first flight with humans into space. Before that, he served NASA as the crew flight surgeon on various expeditions taking astronauts to the International Space Station.

The citizen-airman currently lives and works in Houston as an emergency room doctor and flight surgeon for NASA. In the last two years, he’s lived extensively in Russia and traveled to Kazakhstan to help with space launchings and landings.

Along with helping on space missions, Menon has also used his medical training to respond to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

To learn more about Menon and the other members of the 2021 NASA astronaut class, click here.