On May 25, a bleary-eyed Jasmin Moghbeli, 33, had just arrived in North Carolina on a red-eye flight from Arizona to attend her friend’s wedding. As she was juggling her bags and trying to open the door to her hotel room, her cellphone rang in her back pocket.
She knew exactly who was calling, and that it could potentially have her seeing stars.
“I answered it as calmly as possible,” said Moghbeli. “But my hands were shaking,”
The voice at the other end of the line asked: “Are you still interested in joining us here at NASA?”
The Baldwin, LI, native now laughs at the question. “Of course I [was]! Who says no to that?”
Moghbeli — who is a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps, stationed at Air Station Yuma in Arizona — was one of 12 pilots, scientists and engineers chosen to train as astronauts.
It’s the first class since 2013, and there were a record 18,353 applicants. Five of the 12 are women.
Moghbeli has dreamed of being an astronaut since the sixth grade, when she did a book report on Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space.
“I dressed up as her in school. From then on [being an astronaut] was something that I wanted to do,” said Moghbeli, who also idolized astronaut Mike Massimino, a native of Oceanside, Long Island.
As a kid, Moghbeli — who was born in Germany and moved to Queens as a baby — even attended space camp in Huntsville, Ala.
Her life wasn’t all in the clouds, however: “I loved going to Broadway shows. That was my favorite thing to do in the city growing up,” she said. “I really like ‘The Lion King.’ ”
The road to stardom has been paved with blood, sweat and math, including an MIT diploma and three Marine deployments.
After graduating from Baldwin Senior High, Moghbeli headed to MIT and trained with the Marine Corps’ Platoon Leadership Program…