SpaceX engineer Anna Menon named among crew of new space mission

SpaceX engineer Anna Menon named among crew of new space mission

SpaceX engineer Anna Menon will join the crew of a unique space mission announced by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, which last year carried the world’s first all-private space crew into orbit.

Menon, the wife of Indian-origin physician Anil Menon, is the Lead Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX, where she manages crew operations development and serves in mission control as both mission director and crew communicator, SpaceX said in a Monday release. said in.

Isaacman, founder and CEO of American payment processing company Shift 4, which commanded the Inspiration 4 mission, announced the Polaris program “to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities while continuing to raise funds and raise awareness for critical The first effort of its kind. Causes here on Earth.”

The program will include three manned spaceflight missions that will demonstrate new technologies, conduct extensive research, and eventually culminate in the first flight of SpaceX’s Starship with humans on board.

The first mission, named Polaris Dawn, is targeted to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida before the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Polaris Dawn mission has several first-time objectives, so the Polaris program selected a team of experts who know each other well and can build a foundation of trust as they navigate the challenges of this mission. Menon is a mission specialist and medical officer.

In addition to Isaacman, the crew includes Menon, Scott Potet, a veteran member of Isaacman’s team, and SpaceX employee Sarah Gillis.

During his tenure at SpaceX, Menon led the implementation of Dragon’s crew capabilities, helped create the crew communicator operator role, and developed critical operational responses to vehicle emergencies, such as fire or cabin depressurization. Anna served in mission control during several Cargo and Crew Dragon missions, including Demo-2, Crew-1, CRS-22 and CRS-23. Prior to SpaceX, he worked for seven years at NASA as a biomedical flight controller for the International Space Station.

He is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force, who was selected by NASA in December last year along with nine others as an astronaut for future missions.

In addition to pursuing her lifelong passion for space, Ana enjoys hiking, flying small airplanes, and dancing salsa, and her greatest love is her family, which includes husband Anil, son James, and daughter Grace. Huh.

Anil Menon, 45, was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Ukrainian and Indian immigrants.

He was SpaceX’s first flight surgeon, helped launch the company’s first humans into space during NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, and built a medical organization to support the human system during future missions. He previously served NASA as the crew flight surgeon for various missions that took astronauts to the International Space Station.

SpaceX said the Dragon mission will leverage the maximum performance of the Falcon 9 and Dragon, which will fly more than any Dragon mission to date and attempt to reach the highest Earth orbit ever.

“The Dragon and Polaris Dawn crews will spend up to five days in orbit, during which the crew will attempt a commercial spacewalk for the first time, a form of scientific research designed to advance both human health on Earth and our understanding of human health during the future.” will conduct long-duration space flights, and be the first crew to test Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing valuable data for future space communications systems needed for missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.” The company said.

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