NASA astronaut Nicole Mann has a long list of incredible things that she’s achieved in her life, and now she can add one more.
The 45-year-old astronaut has recently made history as the first Native American woman to go to space in what will be a five-month mission. She is also the first female Marine to lead a NASA space flight.
“What that does is it just highlights our diversity and how incredible it is when we come together as a human species, the wonderful things that we can do and that we can accomplish,” she said.
Mann is a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California, and has become a role model for other Native Americans and young women who hope to one day follow in her footsteps.
Mann flew combat in Iraq for the Marines before joining NASA in 2013.
As a kid, Mann was fascinated with stars and space, but never thought becoming an astronaut could be a possibility for her.
She thanks her family and says she wouldn’t be where she is today without them.
“It’s the strength to know that I have the support of my family and community back home and that when things are difficult or things are getting hard or I’m getting burned out or frustrated, that strength is something that I will draw on to continue toward a successful mission,” Mann told The Associated Press.
Mann has been in space since rocketing into orbit on SpaceX on October 5 and will remain there until March.
Hear more of her inspiring story in the video below: