An Indian-origin neurosurgeon Dr Shawna Pandya (32) has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme. She was shortlisted after securing top score in the CSA programme. If everything goes as per plan, she may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
Dr Shawna Pandya Currently she is based and was born in Canada. She is general physician with the Alberta University Hospital. She has her roots in Mumbai, where her grandmother currently lives.
Dr Pandya had completed her B.Sc in neuroscience at University of Alberta, followed by M.Sc. in space sciences at International Space University (ISU). Thereafter, she did her MD in Medicine from University of Alberta.
She then had applied for medical school as well as for the space programme at the same time. She is also an opera singer, an international champion in taekwon-do and has also done her training in Muay Thai with a Navy SEAL.
She is also member of team working for a project called Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), which will study the effects of climate change.