He reached for the stars, and he is sharing some of his knowledge with his hometown!

K92.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

Before blasting off to the moon, Raja Chari will be returning to his hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The astronaut grew up in the Cedar Valley and attended St. Patrick Catholic School and graduated from Columbus High School. He then went on to study at the U. S. Air Force Academy and graduated in 1999.

Then Chari got a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from M.I.T.

M.I.T. is impressive enough, but then the Iowa native set his sights a bit higher...way higher.

Chari was a part of the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, completing his training in early 2020. Then he acted as commander of the NASA SpaceX Crew mission to the International Space Station.

In 2024, the Eastern Iowa native will join a team of eighteen on the first expedition to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

Before that the Cedar Falls native will be the celebrity grand marshal of the Sturgis Falls parade celebration taking place on June 24th, 2023! 

“We’re thrilled that Raja can be here to see how proud we are of his accomplishments, and what an inspiration he is to all generations,” says parade director Rose Miller. “We always have thousands of people lining the streets for our parade and they will definitely make him feel welcome.”

Not only will he be playing this important roll in the 47th annual celebration, but he will be making various appearances all throughout the weekend. On Saturday, June 24th he will be engaging children in a talk about life as an astronaut at 3:30 p.m. at the Kidsway Tent next to Overman Park.

Several hours later, Chari will introduce the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band’s performance at Overman Park at approximately 7 PM.

Stay up to date with the latest happenings by downloading the station app from the app store.

See Inside Roseanne Barr's Eldon Mansion

Roseanne Barr was set to make a home in Iowa. She and her then-husband Tom Arnold were in the midst of building a mansion in Eldon. It was put on hold when the couple eventually split up. This left a beautiful, unfinished, and kind of spooky mansion behind.

Strangest Rental Properties In Iowa

Here are just some of my favorite strange and cool rental properties that you can check out in Iowa!

More From K92.3