Her Story

Shawna Pandya – 3rd Indian Origin Woman to Fly in Space

Shawna Pandya – 3rd Indian Origin Woman to Fly in Space

Shawna Pandya who was born in Alberta in Canada and has Hometown in Mumbai is a woman of many talents. Apart from being an astronaut, she is also a general physician, author, international taekwondo champion, etc.

She is also talented in various fields such as an expert in speaking French, Spanish and Russian, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, perform in an opera, walked the runway as a model and given a TEDx talk about resilience!

She is deeply passionate about both space and medical science, that’s why she decided to study neuroscience. This branch of medicine department investigates the effects of spaceflight on the central nervous system of humans to establish countermeasures which will help in curing space motion sickness.

After completing her graduation in B.Sc in neuroscience at the University of Alberta, she also did her M.Sc. in space sciences at International Space University. After that, she got her MD in Medicine from the University of Alberta.

Shawna is a prime crew member of “Project Poseidon,” at the Aquarius Space Research Facility in Florida which is the world’s only undersea laboratory dedicated to science and education.

She is working under a project called “Polar Suborbital Science” in the Upper Mesosphere which will study the effects of climate change. While training for this project at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the US, she wore spacesuits, rode on aerobatic flights and experienced changing gravity environments as part of the Scientist-Astronaut course.

Other than that, she will also be working on Physiological, Health, and Environmental Observations in Microgravity. This is a human research program that will conduct cross-disciplinary research into commercial human spaceflight.

Clearly, Shawna’s achievements show that she has assiduously lived up to these words by working to excel in every field she chooses. As she says,

“If you prioritize your passions and commitments, it’s wonderful how much you can achieve.”



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