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Kayla Barron

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Kayla Barron
Barron in 2021
Kayla Jane Sax

(1987-09-19) September 19, 1987 (age 36)
EducationUnited States Naval Academy (BS)
Peterhouse, Cambridge (MPhil)
SpouseTom Barron
Space career
NASA astronaut
RankLieutenant Commander, USN
Time in space
176d 2h 39m
SelectionNASA Group 22 (2017)
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
13h 26m
MissionsSpaceX Crew-3 (Expedition 66/67)
Mission insignia

Kayla Jane Barron (née Sax; born September 19, 1987) is an American submarine warfare officer, engineer, and NASA astronaut. Barron was selected in June 2017 as a member of the NASA Astronaut Group 22, and later qualified as an astronaut in 2020.[1] Barron took part in her first spaceflight, SpaceX Crew-3, as part of the crew of Expedition 66/67, which launched to the International Space Station on November 10, 2021.[2] Before joining NASA, Barron was a submarine warfare officer and Flag Aide to the Superintendent at the Naval Academy.

Early life and education[edit]

Kayla Barron was born on September 19, 1987, in Pocatello, Idaho, to Lauri and Scott Sax. Her family moved to Richland, Washington, where she graduated from Richland High School in 2006. After high school, Barron attended the United States Naval Academy, where she graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering.[3][1]

While at the Naval Academy, Barron was a member of the Midshipmen cross country and track teams.[4] Following her graduation, Barron attended Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship;[5] and received a Master of Philosophy degree in nuclear engineering in 2011.[3] Motivated by a desire to address anthropogenic climate change, her graduate research focused on modeling the fuel cycle for a next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor concept known as an accelerator-driven subcritical reactor.[3][5][6]

Military Career[edit]

After obtaining a master's degree, Barron was part of the first group of women to become submarine warfare officers. She attended the Navy's nuclear power and submarine officer training program, and was assigned to the Ohio-class submarine USS Maine. While serving on the USS Maine, Barron completed three patrols as a division officer. Following her submarine assignment, Barron was Flag Aide to the Superintendent at the Naval Academy until her selection as an astronaut.[3]

NASA career[edit]

In June 2017, Barron was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Group 22, and began her two-year training.[3] She was the fifth female Naval Academy graduate selected as an astronaut candidate.[7]

She trained for the SpaceX Crew-3 mission, during which she worked aboard the International Space Station as a mission specialist. She launched on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endurance on November 10, 2021, and served as part of the Expedition 67 long duration mission to the ISS.[2] Crew-3 landed in the Gulf of Mexico on May 6, 2022, after 176 days in space.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Barron is married to Tom Barron, a U.S. Army Special Forces officer.[9]


Barron was a Trident Scholar and Distinguished Graduate at the Naval Academy, and a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Cambridge.[3]


Warfare insignia[edit]

Submarine Warfare Insignia
SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia

Decorations and medals[edit]

Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy "E" Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon
Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device

NASA Astronaut Pin[edit]

Nasa Astronaut Pin (Gold)


  1. ^ a b "Kayla Sax Barron". SpaceFacts. April 18, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Kayla Barron Joins NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 Mission to Space Station". NASA. May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Garcia, Mark (February 7, 2018). "Astronaut Candidate Kayla Barron". NASA. Retrieved September 10, 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "Former Navy track athlete Kayla Barron selected to 2017 NASA astronaut candidate class". The Patriot League. June 8, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Profile". Gates Cambridge. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Sax, Kayla (April 12, 2011). "Investigating the Scope for the Reduction of ADSR Accelerator Requirements Through Fuel Cycle Choice". Universities Nuclear Technology Forum University of Huddersfield.
  7. ^ "Notable Graduates, Astronauts". United States Naval Academy. Retrieved May 20, 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Grush, Loren (May 6, 2022). "SpaceX successfully returns four astronauts from the International Space Station". The Verge. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  9. ^ Marbella, Jean (June 9, 2017). "Naval Academy grad, aide one of 12 new astronaut candidates". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 26, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.

External links[edit]