Raja Chari is currently an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA. Chari has spent roughly six months' worth of time in outer space, including a pair of EVA flights.

Chari is also an officer in the United States Air Force. A combat veteran, he has been the recipient of several decorations during the course of his military career. And it seems that he's soon to reach a remarkable achievement in said military career.

Nominated for a flag officer's rank

Raja Chari has been put forward for the rank of brigadier general, reports Mint.

He was nominated for the promotion from his current rank of colonel by U.S. President Joe Biden. Afterward, NASA Administrator tweeted his congratulations to Chari. The nomination would have to be confirmed by the United States Senate, which is expected to happen.

Chari was selected to join NASA as an astronaut in 2017. Three years later, he was selected for the agency's mission to return to the moon by 2024. Shortly after, he was named as a member of SpaceX Crew-3, which he would command.

In November of 2021, Chari and his crew successfully lifted off. Their mission goals included further tests of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft. The crew would also board the International Space Station, where they undertook several other tasks.

SpaceX Crew-3 was completed the following April with its members safe return to Earth.

Chari's exact future with NASA is currently unclear with the potential promotion on the horizon. But him becoming a general would most likely mean no further space missions for him. Flag officers by necessity are typically expected to not undertake so much field work.

In the U.S. military, flag officers are either generals or admirals. The ranks can go by other names in other countries' militaries.

The astronaut to go on to reach the highest U.S. military rank thus far has been Kevin P. Chilton. Like Chari, Chilton served in the U.S. Air Force. After flying in three space missions, he became a four-star general.

Also leading United States Strategic Command before retiring.

Is a veteran of the Iraq War

Raja Chari graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1999. After completing his training, he was stationed in Alaska and England before deploying to serve in the Iraq War. Afterward, Chari served as a pilot in a number of programs to develop new technology.

He'd attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College before being assigned to the United States Central Command. Chari later assumed command of the 461st Flight Test Squadron before joining NASA. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal. As well as the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal.

Chari is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father immigrated to the United States from India. The younger Chari would graduate from Columbus High School in Waterloo, Iowa; near Cedar Falls. At the U.S. Air Force Academy, he majored in astronautical engineering and engineering science and minored in mathematics. Chari later earned a master's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.