NASA astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins became an officer in the Army Reserve during a ceremony at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 2.

Army Reserve Command boss Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels delivered the oath of office.

Rubins, a Napa, California native, said she began considering Army Reserve service after doing medical diagnostic volunteer work during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an Army press release.

“You have some time to think in space,” Rubins said in the release. “One of the things I really thought about was how lucky I was to be there and what my country had done for me. I really wanted to give back.”

Rubins was promoted to the rank of major upon commissioning and said she believes becoming a member of the Army Reserve will help hone her leadership skills.

Rubins comes to the USAR after obtaining a degree in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego, and a doctorate from Stanford University Medical School’s Biochemistry Department and Microbiology and Immunology Department.

In July 2009, Rubins was one of just nine people selected to attend the 20th NASA astronaut class, and has since completed two missions, totaling 300 days in space.

With NASA, Rubins overseas the program that manages spacewalks and robotics activities. She has served as the extravehicular activity and robotics branch chief. She has also completed four space walks.

Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master's candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.

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