A day after India celebrated for Shawna Pandya’s feat of being a part of NASA’s 2018 mission under Citizen Science Astronaut programme, the Indian-origin astronaut has denied any such development.
In a Facebook post, Pandya has cleared the air on the rumours that she has been shortlisted by NASA for a space mission. She said that she was once an intern at NASA but is not associated with it now.
She said that the reports had "more than a few misstatements". Pandya posted, "There has been no new announcement, flight assignment or selection of missions with respect to my work as a citizen-scientist astronaut with Project Possum or The PHEnOM Project. I am no more or less likely to fly than any other member of than these projects than I was 24 hours ago."
She said she was a steadfast, committed and dedicated teammate and crew member for both the projects.She calls herself as a steadfast, committed and dedicated teammate and crew member for both projects.
Pandya clarified that her work was "separate from the work of the Canadian Space Agency and that of NASA, and should not be represented as such."
She said that the Canadian Space Agency astronaut selection 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."
Pandya also clarified that she is not a neurosurgeon, but was trained in the field for a short period.
A report in news agency Press Trust of India had said that Pandya is also an opera singer, an an international champion in taekwondo and has trained with a Navy SEAL.
But she clarified, "I am not an opera singer; I have sang opera on stage once. It went well and I would do it again."