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    From Annapolis to Outer Space: Former Navy Women’s Soccer Player Nicole Aunapu Mann Now an Astronaut

    From Annapolis to Outer Space: Former Navy Women's Soccer Player Nicole Aunapu Mann Now an Astronaut

    Nicole Aunapu Mann is unquestionably among the greatest players in Navy women's soccer history. Now, her out-of-this-world performances carry new meaning.

    In 2013, Aunapu Mann was selected as one of eight members of Astronaut Group 21, achieving a dream set shortly after earning her wings of gold a decade before.

    The California native is one of only two four-time, first-team All-Patriot League selections ever produced by the program.

    Playing under her maiden name, Nicole Aunapu, also excelled in the classroom, being named a first team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America in 1997 and 1998. She was twice selected as Patriot League Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

    That drive and determination that made Aunapu Mann such a successful soccer player and midshipman at the Naval Academy has led to a distinguished post-graduate career. She received Marine Corps aviation as a service selection and wound up flying the F/A-18 Hornet.

    Aunapu Mann logged more than 2,500 flight hours in 25 types of aircraft and 200 carrier landings, while flying 47 combat missions in and . She received two Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals in recognition of exemplary service.

    She graduated as a member of Class 135 from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in July 2008. Col. Aunapu Mann made history in October 2022 when she served as…

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