Jonny Kim was a Silver Star-awarded Navy SEAL and Harvard-studied physician. Now the 35-year-old California native can add one other achievement to his résumé: the primary Korean American to turn out to be a NASA astronaut.
Kim was amongst 13 men and women to graduate last week from the company’s Artemis program, making him available for missions to the International Space Station, the moon, and, finally, Mars. Even on a stage of individuals brimming with expertise, he stood out.
Kim is a 1st-generation Korean American, born in Los Angeles to parents who migrated to America from South Korea looking for a greater future for his or her youngsters. Regardless of the accomplishments to return, he struggled with insecurity rising up, in response to a 2017 profile within the Harvard Gazette.
He had a hard time in school and, as his commencement from Santa Monica High approached in spring 2002, determined that solely a daring transfer may flip issues round. So he enlisted within the Navy as a seaman. He requested a recruiter if he might develop into a member of one of many SEAL groups and was promised solely that he might attempt. Simply the chance was sufficient, the Gazette reported.
As a substitute, he made the minimize for the elite staff and went on to function fight medic, sniper, navigator, and the level man on greater than 100 fight operations over two separate deployments. He was granted a Silver Star and a Bronze Star alongside the way in which.
It was throughout his time in Iraq that Kim determined he needed to turn into a health care provider. He was serving as a medic at some point in 2006 when two of his shut pals have been shot, the Gazette reported. Kim handled considered one of them, who had a severe wound to his face. Neither would survive.
He earned a level in arithmetic from the University of San Diego in 2012 and his doctorate in drugs from Harvard in 2016. He was a year right into a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital when he discovered that he had been chosen out of a pool of 18,000 candidates to change into a NASA astronaut.
The decision got here, whereas he was grocery buying. The Artemis program has the aim of sending the first lady and next man to the moon by 2024 and to make use of what’s realized there to make it to Mars.