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Anne Charlotte McClain (born June 7, 1979) is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a NASA astronaut. She was selected in 2013 as part of NASA Astronaut Group 21.[1]

Anne C. McClain
Anne C. McClain portrait.jpg
Born (1979-06-07) June 7, 1979 (age 39)
Alma materU.S. Military Academy
University of Bath
University of Bristol
OccupationTest pilot
AwardsBronze Star Medal
Space career
NASA Astronaut
RankLieutenant colonel, United States Army
Time in space
Currently in Space
Selection2013 NASA Group
MissionsSoyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-MS-11-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 58 Patch.png ISS Expedition 59 Patch.png



Anne McClain was born and raised in Spokane, Washington.[1] She has wanted to be an astronaut since a young age.[2] McClain graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 2002.[1] She then attended the University of Bath, where she earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering in 2004, and the University of Bristol, where she earned a master's degree in international security in 2005.[3] Both master's degrees were completed through a Marshall Scholarship.[1]

Competitive sportsEdit

McClain is an avid rugby player who has played at a competitive level in Women's Premiership, the top level of the sport in England, and for the United States women's national rugby union team, known as the Women's Eagles.[3] While her U.S. Army commitments thwarted her international career in rugby and prevented her participation in the 2006 Women's Rugby World Cup, she credits the sport for her success in becoming an astronaut.[4]

According to an interview published in the NASA Johnson YouTube channel, McClain said that the rugby training was helpful when training with a space suit in a neutral buoyancy pool.[5]

Military and space careerEdit

Following her studies, McClain qualified as a Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot and flew 1600 hours and 216 combat missions during a 15 months deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[3] She also served as a command squadron intelligence officer.[3] McClain graduated from the Naval Test Pilot School in June 2013.[1] In total, McClain has logged over 2,000 hours on various aircraft type including the Kiowa Warrior, the Beechcraft C-12 Huron, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota.[1]

In June 2013, the same month as her graduation as a test pilot, McClain was selected by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 21, becoming the youngest astronaut on the NASA roster.[6] She completed training in July 2015, making her available for future missions.[7]

McClain successfully launched aboard Soyuz MS-11 to the International Space Station at 06.32 ET (11.32 GMT) on December 3, 2018 from the cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. She is part of Expedition 58/59, where she replaced fellow NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who instead launched earlier with Expedition 56/57 due to personnel reassignments. McClain launched with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.[8] The launch was scheduled for December 20, 2018, prior to the failure of Soyuz MS-10 with Expedition 57/58 on October 11, 2018.


McClain is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal with Valor device, two additional Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two service stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and three Overseas Service Ribbons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Whiting, Melanie (October 3, 2018). "Anne C. McClain (Col, U.S. Army) NASA Astronaut". NASA. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "Living the dream: Soldiers selected as NASA astronaut candidates - Soldiers Magazine". DODLive. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Badass Lady Astronaut Candidates: Meet NASA's Class of 2013". September 3, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  4. ^ Brooks, Ashley (June 15, 2018). "From Eagle to Astronaut". USA Rugby. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  5. ^ NASA Johnson (2018-11-30), Astronaut Moments: Anne McClain, retrieved 2018-12-01
  6. ^ "Anne C. McClain" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "NASA's Newest Astronauts Complete Training". NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "Future Expeditions". NASA. Retrieved August 16, 2018. Expedition 58-59; Launch: Dec. 20, 2018; Crew: Oleg Kononenko, David Saint-Jacques, Anne McClain

External linksEdit