Dr. Shawna Pandya is a scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM, physician, aquanaut, speaker, martial artist, advanced diver, skydiver, pilot-in-training, VP Immersive Medicine with Luxsonic Technologies and Fellow of the Explorers’ Club. She holds degrees in neuroscience, space, entrepreneurship and medicine, and is currently completing a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine.
In 2015, Dr. Pandya completed scientist-astronaut candidate training with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and was on the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero-gravity. She has flown over 140 parabolas in microgravity to date. Dr. Pandya is the lead instructor for Project PoSSUM’s EVA 102: Operational Space Medicine course. Through Project PoSSUM, she completed hypobaric hypoxia training, centrifuge studies, aerobatic flight, basic and advanced emergency spacecraft egress and sea survival training, and high altitude noctilucent cloud research. Dr. Pandya also completed a tour at the Mars Desert Research Station analog in Utah, both as Commander and as Crew Health & Safety Officer. In 2019, Dr. Pandya attained her aquanaut designation during a 5-day underwater mission (NEPTUNE) at the Jules Underwater Lodge, completed the World Extreme Medicine Hyperbaric and Dive Medicine Course at Aquarius Reef Base, where NASA NEEMO missions take place, and was named a fellow of the Explorers’ Club. Her adventures were recently captured in the Land Rover short, released with the Apollo 11: First Steps film. Dr. Pandya’s research interests center on resilience in extreme environments, and reproduction in long-duration spaceflight. Her published works include articles on neurosurgical robotics, and book chapters on space technology spin-offs benefitting every day medicine on Earth, resilience in long-duration spaceflight and reproduction in long-duration spaceflight. Dr. Pandya is also a professional speaker represented by the National Speakers Bureau, speaking on leadership, resilience, and pushing the limits.
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