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Dr. Shawna Pandya Set to Join Upcoming Virgin Galactic Space Flight


Dr. Shawna Pandya Set to Join Upcoming Virgin Galactic Space Flight. The International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) has announced an ambitious mission aboard Virgin Galactic’s new Delta vehicle. The IIAS-02 Mission, scheduled to launch soon, will include bioastronautics researchers Kellie Gerardi (USA), Dr. Shawna Pandya (Canada), and Dr. Norah Patten (Ireland).

Dr. Shawna Pandya: A Multi-Faceted Leader

Dr. Shawna Pandya, an Indian Canadian physician, aquanaut, and renowned bioastronautics researcher. She is supposed to play a crucial role in this mission. Serving as the Director of IIAS’s Space Medicine Group, Dr. Pandya brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the crew. Her impressive background includes over 160 parabolas in micro- and reduced gravity. making her well-versed in the challenges and opportunities presented by space travel.

Building on Previous Successes

This mission builds on the successful collaboration between IIAS and Virgin Galactic during the ‘Galactic 05’ flight in November 2023. That mission focused on testing healthcare technologies and fluid behavior in low gravity. The upcoming IIAS-02 Mission aims to expand on these findings, further exploring the applications of space medicine and bioastronautics research.

A Track Record of Innovation

Dr. Pandya is no stranger to groundbreaking work. In 2015, she was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero gravity. Her published works on medical guidelines for spaceflight and the benefits of space technologies to terrestrial medicine have made significant contributions to the field. Proficient in several languages, Dr. Pandya holds degrees in neuroscience, medicine, and space sciences, underscoring her multifaceted expertise.

A Step Towards the Future

As the IIAS-02 Mission approaches, the scientific community eagerly anticipates the results and insights that will emerge from this innovative endeavor. Dr. Pandya and her fellow researchers are set to push the boundaries of space medicine, paving the way for future advancements that could transform both space travel and healthcare on Earth.

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