Dr. Shawna Pandya, an Indian-origin neurosurgeon doctor in Canada, is getting trained for Scientist-Astronaut project that may give her a chance to travel to space and conduct several experiments.
Apart from Dr. Shawna, Michael Gallagher, her colleague practicing in Edmonton, and ten other candidates from Canada, the US and Spain, are also receiving training in a project named as Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUMs) as part of the far-out Scientist-Astronaut Course. The course is presently conducted at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, the US. These Astronauts will travel to space in the sub-orbital flights, and the space travel may happen, somewhere during late 2017 or early in 2018.
They have completed the first phase of training and will be visiting Ottawa during the first week to receive space suit training and testing in zero-gravity. The mission of the training is to increase awareness about upper atmospheric science, the trainees are make acquainted with conditions that exist around noctilucent clouds, believed to be increasing in the upper mesosphere as a result of the climate change..
Dr. Shawna Pandya finished her Masters in Space Studies at the International Space University and has a work experience at the European Astronaut Centre and NASA’s Johnson Space Centre. She is a guest lecturer at technology and the future of medicine course at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Shawna Pandya stated that she loved space from the time when she was a kid and it seems that her lifelong dream is coming to be true.