Meet Yasmine Mokbly, a marine helicopter pilot and mother of twins who leads a crew to the space station

Yasmine Mokbly leads the crew It is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX rocket early Saturday, after NASA canceled launch plans a day early to resolve unspecified paperwork issues.

The mission will be Moqbeli’s first trip into space, a dream come true for the 40-year-old marine helicopter pilot and mother of twins who always knew she wanted to be an astronaut.

“It’s very funny, because in my sixth-grade yearbook, there’s this page where everyone wants to be, and my book says astronaut,” she told CBS News.

The SpaceX Crew-7 flight will take an international team of four to the space station. Moqbeli will be the only American outside, leading the charge.

Moqbali, the daughter of Iranian political refugees, went to astronaut camp as a teenager and earned a degree from MIT. She played three sports, including basketball, and studied aeronautical engineering with aerospace in mind.

She later had an audacious career as a Marine Corps attack helicopter pilot, serving in more than 150 combat missions – part family tradition, part service to her country and part service to her space dreams.

“I never wanted to close the door to becoming an astronaut, and military service certainly didn’t close that door,” Moqbali said.

She said the fact that humans have ever gone to space “is still really impressive” to her.

Moqbeli is looking forward to the view.

“Every astronaut I’ve spoken to has said that looking at Earth has changed their perspective,” she said. “I can’t imagine what it would be like for the first time. I even remember seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time and I thought that was incredible, but looking at our home planet from space, I can’t imagine.”

For her, the mission is about design, exploration and inspiration, especially for the next generation of girls like her twin daughters Zelda and Estelle.

“When they see the diverse crews that go up there, they realize they can be a part of this, whether it’s becoming astronauts or something else. They realize they can do that, too,” Moqbeli said.

“We as humans can’t help but explore,” she said. “I also think it’s really important to inspire the next generation.”

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