HomeAsian AmericansShawna Pandya selected to fly into space on Virgin Galactic

Shawna Pandya selected to fly into space on Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Thursday named Indian Canadian Shawna Pandya to its crew to fly aboard the Delta class planes set to launch by 2026.

Space.com reports Pandya is with the non-profit International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS). Its mission is to perform educational activities and test new technologies in suborbital aircraft.

“It is not lost on me that I am the first named Canadian female commercial astronaut, and the fourth Indian origin female astronaut,” she wrote on LinkedIn. “These communities have shaped who I am, and I promise to do you proud.”

It’s been a long journey for Pandya.

She’s been with IIAS for nine years.

“Today I embark upon what I know I was born to do,” she said.

India West reports she is a physician, aquanaut, bioastronautics researcher, and Director of IIAS’s Space Medicine Group. She tested a commercial spacesuit in zero gravity back in 2015, part of the first crew to do so.

She also earned a black belt in Taekwondo, so any space aliens may want to think twice before messing with her.

Pandya will be part of an all-women crew- joining researchers Kellie Gerardi of the United States and Dr. Norah Patten of Ireland.

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