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US Air Force's Lieutenant Colonel Raja Chari is the third Indian-origin NASA astronaut after Sunita Williams and late Kalpana Chawla, who got selected from over 18,300 applicants for its 2017 Astronaut Class. NASA formed a new batch of 12 astronauts, among whom Chari was one, who were provided with rigorous training for space missions into the Earth's orbit and deep space.