NewsLocal News


University of San Diego grads become astronaut candidates

usd astronauts matthew dominick jonny kim.jpg
Matthew Dominick of NASA.jpg
Jonny Kim of NASA.jpg
usd nasa graduates january 2020
Posted at 1:16 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 16:16:52-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two University of San Diego graduates may eventually find themselves among the stars.

USD Alumni Matthew Dominick and Jonny Kim will graduate as part of NASA's first class of astronaut candidates under the Artemis program Friday at the program's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Dominick, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from USD's school of engineering, is a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander born in Colorado. He completed his master's degree in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and served on the USS Ronald Reagan.


Kim, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, graduated from USD with a degree in mathematics and went on to complete his doctorate of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Before earning his degrees, he trained and operated as a Navy SEAL, completing more than 100 combat operations and earning silver and bronze stars.

The pair of local graduates join nine other NASA candidates chosen from a record-setting pool of more than 18,000 applicants, according to the agency.

Dominick and Kim completed more than two years of basic training, which included training in spacewalking, robotics, International Space Station systems, T-38 jet proficiency, and Russian language. Now, the two are eligible to embark on assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and potential missions to Mars.

A graduation ceremony for all 11 candidates will air live on NASA's website here.