Kayla Barron was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. She reported for duty in August 2017. The Washington native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, Barron earned a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge. As a Submarine Warfare Officer, Barron was a member of the first class of women commissioned into the submarine community. She served as member of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which launched on November 10, 2021. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts safely splashed down on Friday, May 6, 2022 completing the agency’s third long-duration commercial crew mission to the International Space Station. The international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit.
Born in Pocatello, Idaho, Barron considers Richland, Washington, to be her hometown. She is married to Tom Barron of New York, New York. Her parents, Scott and Lauri Sax, live in Richland, Washington. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, running, and reading.
Graduated from Richland High School in Richland, Washington, in 2006. Earned a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2010. Earned a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, in 2011, as a 2010 Gates Cambridge Scholar.
Barron was commissioned as a Navy officer in 2010 and immediately attended graduate school. Her graduate research focused on modeling the fuel cycle for a next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor concept. Following graduate school, Barron attended the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power and submarine officer training before being assigned to the USS Maine, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine homeported in Bangor, Washington. Barron qualified as a submarine warfare officer and completed three strategic deterrent patrols while serving as a division officer aboard the Maine. At the time of her selection, Barron was serving as the Flag Aide to the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Barron reported for duty in August 2017 and completed two years of training as an Astronaut Candidate. She served as member of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station, which launched on November 10, 2021. The international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit as members of the Expedition 66/67 crew. During her time as a flight engineer on the space station, she performed two spacewalks, was lead robotics operator for a third spacewalk, and served as assistant robotics operator for the capture of a Cygnus cargo vehicle. Barron is currently supporting the development of new technologies and operational concepts for the Artemis Program, including the development of next generation planetary space suits, lunar rovers, and Gateway.
Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit commendations. Trident Scholar and Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy. Gates Cambridge Scholar.
U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Gates Cambridge Alumni Association.
Astronaut Kayla Barron (PDF 516 Kb)