IIAS to send 3 more research astronauts on Virgin Galactic's Delta

IIAS to send 3 more research astronauts on Virgin Galactic's Delta



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Bengaluru: Virgin Galactic Holdings on Thursday announced a new contract with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (ISS).IIAS) three to blow Research astronauts Aboard the company's next-generation Delta-class spacecraft.
This will be the second research mission undertaken by IIAS with Virgin Galactic, building on their previous Galactic 05 flight in November 2023.
The upcoming mission aims to advance IIAS's research on fluid behaviour in microgravity, including potential applications. Future Medical technology and life support systems. The IIAS team will be led by astronaut Kelly Gerardi, who previously validated fluid behavior theory during Galactic 05.
“The quality microgravity provided by Virgin Galactic is truly game-changing. We will be expanding our fluid cell experiment, working to control fluid behavior. The 'fly, fix, fly' approach opens up exciting possibilities to make fruitful discoveries for the future space “It's a great experience for explorers,” Gerardi said.
Gerardi is a bioastronautics researcher and payload specialist who directs human spaceflight operations at the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS). She has conducted experiments in space and participated in numerous reduced gravity research flights on Earth. Gerardi is also a science communicator, writes children's books and engages in a variety of space-related projects. Her professional affiliations include the Truman National Security Project, Palantir Technologies and The Explorers Club. Gerardi lives in Florida with her family.
Gerardi will be joined by physician and space medicine researcher Dr. Shauna Pandya and aeronautical engineer Nora Patton. The mission is scheduled for the first year of Virgin Galactic's Delta commercial service, expected to begin in 2026.
Dr. Pandya is a physician, aquanaut and bioastronautics researcher with diverse experience in space-related fields. She works with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) and has participated in several parabolic flight campaigns and spacesuit tests.
He has completed aquanaut missions, contributed to various space research projects, and published on space medicine topics. He has received recognition for his work, including being named one of the “50 Explorers Who Changed the World” by the Explorers Club. The upcoming IIAS-02 mission will be his first spaceflight.
Nora Patton is an aeronautical engineer and bioastronautics researcher at the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), with extensive experience in microgravity research, commercial spacesuit testing, and emergency egress operations. She led an experiment on the aerosolisation of water droplets in microgravity and tested a 3D bioprinter for skin grafts in space. Nora is an award-winning author and STEM advocate, best known for her children's book 'Shooting for the Stars', which won the An Post Children's Book of the Year Senior in 2019. She received the IIAS Educator Award in 2018, and has been recognised as an emerging space leader.





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