Serena Aunon-Chancellor, grad of Poudre High School won ISS competition

May 7, 2018 - By Edwin Martin

Serena Aunon-Chancellor, grad of Poudre High School won ISS competition

Serena Aunon-Chancellor, grad of Poudre High School won ISS competition

Serena Aunon-Chancellor won her place at the International Space Station through the competition with 3 500 applicants.

NASA gathered the new team in 2009 to go to ISS. It was the 20th team in history and there had to be 14 members.

Serena will join other astronauts on June 6 as the part of 56/57 ISS Expedition. She was following all the news on the space shuttle. She saw on TV the first launch being a student of the elementary school. That is when she decided to become an astronaut.

What happened when she heard good news?  “I actually screamed inside my car,” Serena said. “Then I called my family immediately.”

Her father is Doctor Jorge Aunon, an immigrant from Cuba, former dean of the engineering department at Alabama University. Her mother Margaret Aunon, the resident of Fort Collins is also known as Maggie Sefton, the writer of bestselling mystery books.

Serena knew that women in this profession are in minority, and it made her work even harder to reach success. According to official statistics from 537 astronauts on the 2016 year, only 60 were women.

Aunon will be a second female astronaut with Hispanic roots in space.

Serena Aunon-Chancellor is a doctor and flight surgeon. She has medical degree in aerospace medicine and internal medicine. She has BS in engineering from the University of George Washington.

“Most important is that the decisions I made in my professional career were not toward a specific goal,” she says in the interview, “but because I loved what I was doing at the time.”

Serena is aquanaut as well. During NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations she lived and also worked in the undersea research station. She lived on ice, 150 miles away from the South Pole during expedition Antarctic Search for Meteorites. They were searching for meteorites in Transantarctic Mountains.

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