|Full name||Kayla Jane Barron Facebook|
|Profession(s)||• Submarine warfare officer USS Maine (SSBN 741)
• NASA Astronaut
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 179 cm
in meters- 1.79 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 65 kg
in pounds- 143 lbs
|Eye Colour||Light Blue|
|Hair Colour||Light Brown|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Navy Commendation Medal
• Navy Achievement Medal
• Submarine Warfare Insignia (Dolphins)
• Trident Scholar and Distinguished Graduate
• Gates Cambridge Scholar
|Date of Birth||19 September 1987|
|Age (as of 2020)||33 Years|
|Birthplace||Pocatello, Idaho, United States|
|School||Richland High School (2006)|
|College/University||• United States Naval Academy (2010)
• University of Cambridge, Peterhouse (2011)
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering U.S. at Naval Academy United States Naval Academy
• Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Cambridge NASA
|Hobbies||Hiking, Backpacking, Running, Reading|
|Relationships & More|
|Husband/Spouse||Tom Barron (U.S. Army Special Forces officer)
|Parents||Father- Scott Sax
Mother- Lauri Sax
|Siblings||Sisters - 2 (Picture available in the parent's section)
• Stephanie Rothenberg
• Megan Swarner
Some Lesser Known Facts About Kayla Barron
- Kayla Barron is the first and the youngest female astronaut who is chosen for the NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program 2024. She would be the first women to step on the moon.
- Her father, Scott Sax, works as a project engineer for the U.S. Department of Energy at Hanford. He owns a telescope, and he loves to gaze at the stars. Scott had an ardent desire to work for NASA, but he never got a chance to accomplish his dream. Later, his daughter fulfilled this desire.
- On 11 September 2001, a series of terrorist attack took place in the United States by a terrorist group of Al-Qaeda in which 2,977 people lost their lives and 2500 people were injured. This incident caused a huge loss to life and property. At that time, Kayla was in the eighth standard. It was the time when she decided to dedicate her life to her nation and serve humanity.
- During her childhood, she watched astronauts and shuttle launches on TV, but she did not aspire to become an astronaut then. Kayla wanted to become a fighter pilot since her childhood, but as she grew up, she developed an interest in the navy. Later, she evolved as a submarine warfare officer.
- In 2010, she was authorised as a Navy officer. Thereafter, she attended graduate school, and her graduate research focused on modelling the fuel cycle for a next-generation thorium-fueled nuclear reactor concept. After completing graduate school, she attended the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power and submarine officer training before being assigned to the USS Maine, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine homeported in Bangor, Washington school. While at the Naval Academy, Barron was a member of the Midshipmen cross-track teams. As a Submarine Warfare Officer, Barron was a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community. She was one of the 3-4 women members among 160 crew members.
- Soon after that, she qualified as a submarine warfare officer and completed three strategic deterrent patrols while serving as a division officer aboard Maine. Kayla once met an astronaut, Kathryn P. Hire, who had already served in the navy before, and she discussed the parallels between the submarine community and living and working in space. The similarities between both professions led Kayla to visualise her capabilities as an astronaut. Then, she developed an interest in space and wanted to become an astronaut. She shared her idea with her boss, Walter Edward “Ted” Carter, who provided her with the required mentorship, and she went on to pursue her dream. He said,
Kayla, do you know how you become an Astronaut? You apply! It’s actually very simple, you just apply yourself out there, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
- Barron applied to become an astronaut and was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. It took her 18 months from submitting her application and finding if she got selected. She joined NASA in August 2017. She was 29 years old at the time of her selection, and she was serving as the Flag Aide to the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. She got a call at 12:03 pm from Houston on 25 May 2017 while she was in a parade and missed the first call by one minute. She was very excited but could not call or text back on that number. So, she held the phone in her hand for the next hour, and after 45 minutes, the bell rang, and she answered the call. According to Kayla, that was one of the most cherishable moments of her life.
- She had to undergo multiple medical and physiological testings, and some formal interviews with the selection committee. She was one of the 12 people to graduate from NASA’s Astronaut Training program who were chosen amongst 18,300 candidates, which means one out of 1500 people became eligible for this space project. There, she began with her 2-year training. During her training at Johnson Space Center in Houston, she said,
It’s hard to explain how excited we are.”
- Although her class was quick in learning Russian and training for spacewalks for the Artemis Program, the tasks were considered the most challenging part; however, for Kayla, it was one of the most interesting parts of the journey. In an interview, Kayla also shared that she had no experience in learning any foreign language, but they had to learn Russian because of their partnership with the Russian agency. While pursuing her training, Kayla said,
When I stand outside at night and look up at the moon, every once in a while I’ll try to imagine myself standing on the moon and looking back at Earth. It’s just such a hard thing to wrap your head around.”
- This would be her first space flight assignment as an astronaut. Reportedly, she worked with the teams designing the spacesuits for the Artemis Program.
- Along with it, human exploration on Mars is also slated by the year 2030.
- Talking about Kayla, in an interview, her father, Scott, said,
Kayla has always sought to do the next great thing, the next hardest thing. She’s always taken that challenge, and this is a mix of science and pioneering. She’s just getting started. What I could have done is what she is doing. It’s nice that in our society today when we’re all so polarized, we are all behind our astronauts. The sky is more personal now.”
- Kayla does not have any prior experience of space nor she has studied aeronautics. She elaborated,
In most ways, astronauts are generalists. They only send a few people into space at a time, so we all have to be a jack-of-all-trades. Space capsules aren’t very big.”
- According to Kayla, their training is challenging and working in a spacesuit is physically very demanding. Moreover, maintaining mental and physical focus for more than 6 hours is a difficult task. Being her first space programme, Kayla is very excited and is looking forward to experience her first space flight.