She Was a Pioneering Navy Submarine Officer. Now She's Headed to Space

Lt. Cmdr. Kayla Barron, one of the first women to serve on a Navy submarine, is now one step closer to being one of the first women to walk on the Moon.

Barron, 33, who commissioned as a Navy officer in 2010, was selected by NASA out of a pool of approximately 18,000 people to join the 2017 astronaut candidate class.

Barron is no stranger to firsts. When the Navy first began the process of integrating women into submarine crews in 2010, during her senior year at the Naval Academy, Barron became a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community.

"I think I've been lucky to be in the right place at the right time for some of these big changes, the submarine force being a great example. They opened the community to women during my senior year at the Naval Academy, allowing me to volunteer to serve in that community," Barron said.

She would ultimately serve on the Ohio-class ballistic submarine Maine, where she'd complete three patrols in the job of division officer.

For her first spaceflight, Barron will serve as a mission specialist for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. The mission is slated for launch "no earlier than Sunday Oct. 31," according to a NASA Commercial Crew Program post.

In addition to the upcoming SpaceX Crew-3 mission this fall, Barron is also set to take part in NASA's Artemis program, which aims to "send the first woman and next man to the Moon" by 2024.