NASA is finally bringing on new astronauts — including this cool chick

On May 25, a bleary-eyed Jasmin Moghbeli, 33, had just arrived in North Carolina on a red-eye flight from Arizona to attend her friend’s wedding. As she was juggling her bags and trying to open the door to her hotel room, her cellphone rang in her back pocket.

She knew exactly who was calling, and that it could potentially have her seeing stars.

“I answered it as calmly as possible,” said Moghbeli. “But my hands were shaking,”

The voice at the other end of the line asked: “Are you still interested in joining us here at NASA?”

The Baldwin, LI, native now laughs at the question. “Of course I [was]! Who says no to that?”

Moghbeli — who is a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps, stationed at Air Station Yuma in Arizona — was one of 12 pilots, scientists and engineers chosen to train as astronauts.

It’s the first class since 2013, and there were a record 18,353 applicants. Five of the 12 are women.

Moghbeli has dreamed of being an astronaut since the sixth grade, when she did a book report on Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space.

“I dressed up as her in school. From then on [being an astronaut] was something that I wanted to do,” said Moghbeli, who also idolized astronaut Mike Massimino, a native of Oceanside, Long Island.

As a kid, Moghbeli — who was born in Germany and moved to Queens as a baby — even attended space camp in Huntsville, Ala.

Her life wasn’t all in the clouds, however: “I loved going to Broadway shows. That was my favorite thing to do in the city growing up,” she said. “I really like ‘The Lion King.’ ”

The road to stardom has been paved with blood, sweat and math, including an MIT diploma and three Marine deployments.

After graduating from Baldwin Senior High, Moghbeli headed to MIT and trained with the Marine Corps’ Platoon Leadership Program during college.

She entered the Marines as a second lieutenant with the intention of becoming a jet pilot but fell in love with the AH-1W “Whiskey Cobra” attack helicopter during flight school.

Three deployments later — including one to Afghanistan, one on a ship in the Middle East and a tour in Asia — she is now flying Cobras on reconnaissance and air support.

But that will all change in August, when Moghbeli, who is single, reports to Johnson Space Center in Houston for an intensive two-year astronaut-training process.

Despite the culmination of the shuttle era in 2011, Moghbeli’s spirits are still high.

“There are a lot of jobs on Earth to be done by astronauts,” she said.

And she’s already started bonding with her classmates; after meeting at an announcement ceremony, they’ve been texting each other.

Once she settles into her pad in Houston, Moghbeli can hang the picture of herself dressed as Tereshkova as a reminder of how far she has come.

Although she noted with a laugh, “It doesn’t look quite as cool as I remember.”


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