In the fictional Start Trek series, Captain Kirk and his crew set out to explore the final frontier.  That's about as close as you and I will ever get to space travel.  But there have been several astronauts who have ventured into space and now you can meet one!


Raja Chari, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut and commander of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission, will be speaking at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, Douwstra Auditorium, on Central College's campus in Pella, Iowa.

Back in February of this year, Central hosted "Space Station Central", where campus and community members were able to talk to Chari live while he was in space on the International Space Station. Now he is back home and Central has the honor of welcoming him and his spouse, Holly Schaffter Chari '99, to speak in Douwstra Auditorium. The public is invited to hear Chari discuss his time aboard the International Space Station and life as an astronaut.

Chari is also one of 18 astronauts, chosen from 18,000 applicants, to train for NASA's Artemis moon-landing program. This lunar exploration program will land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024.


Astronaut Chari's program is free. Please register in advance. The presentation will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. on Central Dutch Network.

Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor and leadership formation and for cultivating diversity of thought and culture through the arts and sciences, professional fields of study, and experiential learning.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

More From AM 1490 WDBQ