Indian-origin astronaut clarifies on Facebook: Not part of Nasa mission, not a neurosurgeon or an opera singer

On Friday, Indian-origin astronaut Shawna Pandya, who has been the subject of much media attention over the past 24 hours, issued a few clarifications regarding her work and credentials: she denied being shortlisted by Nasa for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme, clarified that she was not, in fact, an opera singer (having only sung opera on stage once) and stated that those who reported she was a neurosurgeon had erred — she trained in neurosurgery for a short period, but she was a general physician.

FP Staff February 10, 2017 20:20:35 IST
Indian-origin astronaut clarifies on Facebook: Not part of Nasa mission, not a neurosurgeon or an opera singer

On Friday, Indian-origin astronaut Shawna Pandya, who has been the subject of much media attention since Thursday, issued a few clarifications regarding her work and credentials: she denied being shortlisted by Nasa for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme, clarified that she was not, in fact, an opera singer (having only sung opera on stage once) and stated that those who reported she was a neurosurgeon had erred — she trained in neurosurgery for a short period, but she was a general physician.

Taking to Facebook, Pandya said she wanted to clarify after noticing more than a few misstatements in the reports. She said, "My work is separate from the work of the Canadian Space Agency and that of NASA, and should not be represented as such. The Canadian Space Agency astronaut selection is ongoing and will be finalized this year; I am not a part of the selection. While I have previously interned at NASA-Johnson Space Center, I have no current affiliation with either organization, and would like to clarify that any reports or articles claiming as such are mistaken."

On Thursday, the Economic  Times reported that Pandya, 32, was a neurosurgeon from Alberta, Canada, and would soon become the third woman of Indian origin to fly in space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. The Times of India reported that Pandya had been shortlisted by Nasa for its 2018 space mission, while DNA reported that she was an opera singer.

Pandya ended her post by saying that she looked forward to continuing her work as a physician, speaker and citizen-scientist astronaut and aquanaut and continuing outreach and education regarding these projects.

Updated Date:

also read

Asteroid twice the size of Burj Khalifa to fly past Earth; NASA shares link to track it live
News & Analysis

Asteroid twice the size of Burj Khalifa to fly past Earth; NASA shares link to track it live

Reports suggest that asteroid 1994 PC 1 has been classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ by NASA because of its closeness while shooting past the Earth

James Webb telescope unfurls mirror 'golden eye', completes full deployment
World

James Webb telescope unfurls mirror 'golden eye', completes full deployment

Flight controllers in Baltimore began opening the primary mirror of the telescope on 7 January, 2022, unfolding the left side like a drop-leaf table

NASA shares visualisation video of Monkey Head Nebula, social media users left amazed
News & Analysis

NASA shares visualisation video of Monkey Head Nebula, social media users left amazed

The space agency also informed social media users that the spectacular Hubble visualisation is about 6,400 light-years away