A scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Shawna Pandya is passionate about the two ‘extremes’ of humanity- surviving and thriving. She strives to tackle humanity’s grandest challenges through furthering technological innovation and human knowledge. She has gained a new sense of being after feeling ashamed for leaving her career as a neurosurgeon, and in her talks speaks passionately about resilience and what she has learned through the people she has worked with.
Dr. Pandya successfully completed Scientist‐Astronaut Candidate training in 2015 with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero‐gravity.
Preparing for space requires more than just knowledge — it involves an incredible amount of mental and physical agility. Outside of her work, Shawna continues to further develop these skills through martial arts. She holds a black belt in taekwondo, a sport she’s been practicing for over 15 years. She has also travelled to Thailand annually since 2015 to train in muay thai.
In 2016, Shawna was named as prime crew for Project Poseidon, which aims to further ocean and space exploration, while setting a world record for “most days spent under the sea.” She also received the Global Women of Vision award in 2016.
On one adventure after another, Shawna has led a life devoted to technology, innovation, social development and, of course, adventure!