Dr. Sian Proctor
Dr. Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist, and science communication specialist with a passion for space exploration. Her motto is called Space2inspire where she encourages people to use their unique, one-of-a-kind strengths, and passion to inspire those within their reach and beyond. She uses her AfronautSpace art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry. She’s an analog astronaut and has completed four analog missions including the all-female SENSORIA Mars 2020 mission at the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Habitat, the NASA funded 4-months Mars mission at HI-SEAS, a 2-weeks Mars mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), and a 2-weeks Moon mission in the LunAres Habitat. She believes that when we solve for space, we also solve issues on Earth. She promotes sustainable food practices used in space exploration as a way to reduce food waste on Earth.
She has a TEDx talk called Eat Like a Martian and published the Meals for Mars Cookbook. Dr. Proctor was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program and got down to the Yes/No phone call which came from Astronaut Sunita Williams. She is an international speaker who enjoys engaging in educational outreach. She is a continuing NASA Solar System Ambassador and serves on the Explore Mars Board of Directors, JustSpace Alliance Advisory Board, the Science in the Wild Advisory Board, the SEDS USA Advisory Board, and the National Science Teaching Association’s Aerospace Advisory Board. In 2019, she was the science communication outreach officer on the JOIDES Resolution Expedition 383 and spent 2-months at sea with researchers investigating the Dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. She also participated in the 2-week faculty development seminar Exploring Urban Sustainability in India. She was a 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea, a 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador (ACEAP), and a 2014 PolarTREC Teacher investigating climate change in Barrow, Alaska. She is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and serves as a member of the Arizona Wing Aerospace Education Officer.
Dr. Proctor spent 21 years as a professor teaching geology, sustainability, and planetary science at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently the Open Educations Resource Coordinator for the Maricopa Community College District. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science, an M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education. She recently finished a sabbatical at Arizona State University’s Center for Education Through Exploration creating virtual field trips. She did her 2012-13 sabbatical at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute developing their science of disasters curriculum. She has appeared in multiple international science shows and is currently on A World Without NASA and Strange Evidence. You can follow her on social media @DrSianProctor or visit her website: www.drsianproctor.com.
Instructor and Researcher
International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS)
Kyle Foster is an image scientist with over a decade of experience in research, engineering, analytic, and leadership roles. In 2016, Kyle and three crewmates participated in a thirty day isolation study in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) at NASA Johnson Space Center, during which he supported nearly two dozen different experiments assessing the physiological and psychological stresses of long duration deep space flight. In 2019, Kyle and four crewmates lived underwater for five days for Nautical Experiments in Physiology, Technology & Underwater Exploration (NEPTUNE) at Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, FL, performing biomedical studies, technical demonstrations, and public outreach as an Explorers Club flagged expedition.
Kyle holds a BS in Imaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY and an MS in Earth Systems Science from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Kyle is currently pursuing a PhD in Earth Systems & Geoinformation Sciences, also at George Mason University. He is an instructor & researcher with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), where he supports Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) by processing and analyzing imagery of polar mesospheric clouds. Originally from West Monroe, NY, Kyle lives with his wife and children in Northern Virginia.
Dr. Shawna Pandya
Scientist, Astronaut – Candidate, Physician
Dr. Shawna Pandya is a scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM, physician, aquanaut, speaker, martial artist, advanced diver, skydiver, pilot-in-training, VP Immersive Medicine with Luxsonic Technologies and Fellow of the Explorers’ Club. She is also Director of the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences (IIAS)/PoSSUM Space Medicine Group, Chief Instructor of the IIAS/PoSSUM Operational Space Medicine course, Chair of Strategic Directives for the PoSSUM13, clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta, a newly appointed Primary Investigator (PI) for the Shad Canada-Blue Origin student microgravity competition, session organizer for ASCEND 2020 and was mostly recently named a medical advisor to Orbital Assembly Construction and United Space Structures. Dr. Pandya holds degrees in neuroscience (BSc Hons. Neuroscience, University of Alberta), space (MSc Space Studies, International Space University), entrepreneurship (Graduate Studies Program, Singularity University) and medicine (MD, University of Alberta), and is currently completing a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine (Academy of Wilderness Medicine).
Paul Bakken is a native Minnesotan, husband of 27 years, and father of three children. He has served his community as an elected official for over 18 years, and serves on the Board of Directors for his local electrical distribution cooperative. Other experience includes Boy Scouting, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and service as an officer in the Minnesota Army National Guard.
In addition to a B.A. in Political Science and Classics from St. Olaf College, Bakken has earned a M.A. from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Bakken has also completed the FEMA/EMI Integrated Emergency Management Course. Additionally, Bakken is an IANTD certified aquanaut and scientific diver, a Ham Radio Operator, and a (Part 107) Small Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot.
Bakken is an avid science-fiction reader and tinkerer. He has a long-standing interest in the exploration of space, and of the Moon and Mars in particular. He has served as Commander of two crew rotations at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), as Executive Officer for NEPTUNE, a five-day underwater research mission, and as Operations Officer for Selene I, a fourteen-day lunar analog research mission at HI-SEAS. During his time at the analog research stations, Bakken designed and field tested an airlock SCADA system and a variety of ballistic imaging drones. He also conducted research into Martian regolith plant growth, low-residue diets, and EVA construction materials and techniques.
Bakken is currently experimenting with laser-based mid- to long-range communications systems and an ozone-based, waterless, laundering machine. He has a continuing interest in the design and testing of analog habitat and spacesuit systems.
2nd Lt. Makiah Eustice is an Aerospace Engineer, US Air Force officer, and emerging researcher in human factors and performance in the aerospace field. She received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and completed the Space Studies program at the International Space University. She is currently investigating effective non-verbal communication on EVA surface operations.
She first got involved in space analogs as mission support for the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) rotational crews. She was selected for Crew 200 as Greenhouse officer in 2018 and the Mars Academy TAMUSEDS mission in 2019 as Commander, leading a team of Texas A&M Freshmen. Other experiences include scuba diving training, riding in a T-38 Talon, simulating forward operating base operations, and taking flying lessons.
Makiah was selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow, a competitive cohort for exceptional women and gender-minority undergraduates in aerospace to receive working experience and gain powerful networking in the industry. She worked in systems engineering and requirements management at the Aerospace Corporation. At Texas A&M, Makiah was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Air Force ROTC. She was project director of the SEDS chapter in 2017-18 before becoming President and founding the Aggie Astronaut Corps program. She worked in research on shape memory alloy applications. She was also committed to outreach, doing space activities with local schools with SEDS and using social media as a platform for her space exploration journey. With the NASA Social program, she got media access to see her first live launch from Vandenberg.
In the Air Force, Makiah will work in the developmental engineering career field. She hopes to pursue human factors and flight test engineering while supporting analog and microgravity research on the side.