Who is the Indian-origin Nasa astronaut trainee Anil Menon?

Menon was SpaceX’s first flight surgeon and helped it launch humans to space during the Demo-2 mission



Anil Menon, 45, lieutenant colonel, US Air Force, gestures as he is introduced at the NASA's 2021 Astronaut Candidate announcement event on December 6, 2021 at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. (Photo: AFP)
Anil Menon, 45, lieutenant colonel, US Air Force, gestures as he is introduced at the NASA's 2021 Astronaut Candidate announcement event on December 6, 2021 at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. (Photo: AFP)

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 7 Dec 2021, 4:03 PM

Nasa announced its 10 latest trainee astronauts, who include a firefighter turned Harvard professor, a former member of the national cycle team, and a pilot who led the first-ever all-woman F-22 formation in combat.

The 2021 class was whittled down from a field of more than 12,000 applicants and will now report for duty in January at the Johnson Space Center in Texas, where they will undergo two years of training.

In this photo released by NASA and recieved by AFP on December 6, 2021, Astronaut candidate (ASCAN) Class of 2021 (L-R) Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, Luke Delaney,  Jessica Wittner, Anil Menon, Marcos Berrios, Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, Deniz Burnham, and Andre Douglas pose for a photo at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
In this photo released by NASA and recieved by AFP on December 6, 2021, Astronaut candidate (ASCAN) Class of 2021 (L-R) Nichole Ayers, Christopher Williams, Luke Delaney, Jessica Wittner, Anil Menon, Marcos Berrios, Jack Hathaway, Christina Birch, Deniz Burnham, and Andre Douglas pose for a photo at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Dr Anil Menon, 45, to join the 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Ukrainian and Indian immigrants.

Menon was SpaceX’s first flight surgeon and helped it launch humans to space during the Demo-2 mission. He started as a Nasa flight surgeon in 2014 and supported four long-duration crew members on the International Space Station as the deputy crew surgeon for Soyuz missions and as a prime crew surgeon for one of the Soyuz missions.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

The highly qualified Menon graduated from Saint Paul Academy and Summit school in Minnesota in 1995, got a neurobiology degree from Harvard in 1999, followed by a Master’s in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 2004. He also has a doctor of medicine qualification from Stanford Medical School and a residency in emergency medicine at Stanford.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

He joined SpaceX in 2018 and started its medical programme, preparing the first human flights. He was the lead flight surgeon for five launches and helped start the private astronaut programmes. According to Nasa, he practices regularly in local trauma centres; his research has led to the publication of 20 scientific articles on emergency and space medicines.

In the US Air Force, he supported the 45th Space wing as a flight surgeon and the 173rd Fighter wing, where he logged over 100 F-15 sorties and transported over 100 patients as part of the critical care air transport team.


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