HomeAsian AmericansAmanda Nguyen to be first Vietnamese American in space

Amanda Nguyen to be first Vietnamese American in space

Amanda Nguyen, a 32-year-old social activist and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will become the first Vietnamese American woman to travel into space.

Nguyen, who is a survivor of sexual assault, headed the campaign in favor of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in 2016, later being named on Time’s first Women of the Year list in 2022.

The legislation provided statutory rights for survivors of sexual assault and rape under federal law, which helped nearly 25 million estimated rape survivors in the U.S., Bored Panda reported.

Nguyen said that her fight for legal protections for sexual assault survivors caused her to “trade my telescope for a pen to draft laws protecting survivors,” in a video posted on the Facebook page of the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on March 27, VnExpress reported. She continued, “At the crossroads of justice or my astronaut dream, I chose justice.”

“I’m flying to space so that young Vietnamese women can see themselves among the stars. What’s important for me is that I can carry my community by my side. I might be the first, but I will not be the last,” said Nguyen in Vietnamese in a video posted by the US Embassy, Bored Panda reported.

The mission is a part of the Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program, which is committed to “empowering each citizen astronaut to address global challenges with a broader perspective,” VnExpress reported.

While the launch date has yet to be announced, Nguyen will be a part of the New Shepard rocket mission, manufactured by Blue Origin, VnExpress reported.

“I am thrilled to be partnered with Space for Humanity, not just for their support, but also their vision and values,” said Nguyen in Vietnamese in the video posted by the US Embassy, Bored Panda reported. “Together, we’re committed to changing the way we all think about the cosmos, each other, and humanity’s future. I look forward to my journey to space as well as our continued journey to a brighter and better future.”

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