Press Release

Orbital Assembly Congratulates Chief of Medical Research Shawna Pandya M.D. For Being Named to the Prestigious Explorers Club 50 2022 Cohort

By SpaceRef Editor
March 23, 2022
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 Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), the only company advancing the development and operation of the first commercially viable, space-based business park with gravity, congratulates Dr. Shawna Pandya the company’s Director of Medical Research for being named to the prestigious Explorers 50 Club: Fifty People Changing the World that the World Needs to Know About. (pg. 90 profile). Dr. Pandya was recognized for her contributions to space medicine and astronautics. 

“It is a prestigious honor to be recognized for my knowledge base and experience to co-developing and deploying immersive technologies such as virtual reality and 360° video for medical skills development in space and on Earth,” she says. “I also have the good fortune of being an architect and foundational voice for a future medical infrastructure on the world’s first artificial gravity space station being developed by OAC.” 

In addition to her role at OAC, Dr. Pandya is an aquanaut, pilot-in-training, and a scientist-astronaut candidate program graduate with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS) , the first crewed suborbital research program. She serves as vice president of immersive medicine for Luxsonic Technologies, and a medical advisor to United Space Structures and Astreas. Dr. Pandya is also director of the IIAS Space Medicine Group, the chief instructor of the IIAS Operational Space Medicine course, and Life Sciences Team Lead with the Association for Spaceflight Professionals. 

She earned an M.D. and a BSc degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, Canada. She also received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Space Studies from the International Space University, and is currently completing a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine at the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

“Our entire OAC team is so proud of Shawna’s prestigious honor,” says Rhonda Stevenson, OAC chief executive officer. “She deserves a place especially among few women scientists focused on space who are helping us overcome the medical challenges of long-term space habitation.”

“The Explorers Club 50 may well be the most important initiative our club has ever undertaken,” said Richard Garriott, President of The Explorers Club. “I do not make this statement lightly. For 118 years now, we have promoted exploration by all means possible, and as important as it is to get the history right, it is even more important to build on that foundation for the future.”

About The Explorers Club:

Since its inception in 1904, members of the Club have traversed the earth, the seas, the skies, and even the moon, on expeditions. First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean and first to the surface of the moon – all accomplished by Explorers Club Members. Notable members include Teddy Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, Edmund Hillary, John Glenn, Sally Ride, Bob Ballard, and more.

About Orbital Assembly Corporation

Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC) is the only company advancing the development and operation of the first commercially viable space-based business park with gravity that will enable humanity to work, play and thrive in the space ecosystem. Commercialization of these space parks will include manufacturing of integrated circuits, photonics, fiber optics, satellite rework, military applications, biomaterials, organ growth and pharmaceuticals. The company will also provide communications hubs and opportunities for space tourism. For more information about Orbital Assembly Corporation, please visit 

SpaceRef staff editor.