Cedar Falls Native, NASA Astronaut to be Sturgis Falls Celeb Grand Marshal
Cedar Falls native and NASA astronaut Raja Chari will serve as celebrity grand marshal of the Sturgis Falls Celebration Parade on June 24. He will also be participating in other events over the course of the three-day festival. Chari grew up in Cedar Falls, and also attended St. Patrick Catholic School and graduated from Columbus High School in Waterloo. Chari graduated from the U. S. Air Force Academy in 1999 and received a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). NASA selected U. S. Air Force Colonel Chari for its 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, which graduated from training in January 2020. Chari served as commander of the NASA SpaceX Crew mission to the International Space Station, where he and his crew joined Expeditions 66/67 as a flight engineer. He’ll also give a public presentation of his work with NASA June 23rd at Overman Park, give a special presentation to children attending Sturgis the afternoon of June 24th and spend Sunday with family at the event.