Health in Space 

Kris Lehnhardt

Element Scientist, Exploration Medical Capability, NASA Human Research Program

Senior Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine and Center for Space Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Kris Lehnhardt is the Element Scientist for Exploration Medical Capability in the NASA Human Research Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, USA. Dr. Lehnhardt is a board-certified Emergency Physician with expertise in extreme environmental medicine, which includes elements of aerospace medicine, diving medicine, and wilderness medicine. He has trained with Flight Surgeons from the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, and the Canadian Armed Forces and is a graduate of the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program, where he now teaches as an Adjunct Professor in the Human Performance in Space department.

After completing his medical degree and emergency medicine residency at Western University in London, ON, Canada, Kris moved to Washington, DC in 2010, where he was an Attending Physician and Assistant Professor at George Washington University (GWU). At GWU, he created and directed the Introduction to Human Health in Space graduate course and the Fellowship in Extreme Environmental Medicine.

Now in Houston since 2017, Dr. Lehnhardt has a Senior Faculty appointment in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Center for Space Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he works clinically in the Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Department. In addition, Kris is a medical specialist reservist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, a private pilot, and an advanced open water SCUBA diver.

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).

Dr. Emmanuel Urquieta Ordonez

Deputy Chief Scientist, Emergency Medicine Doctor, &

Faculty at Baylor College of Medicine

Translational Research Institute for Space Health

Emmanuel Urquieta holds a medical degree from Anahuac University in Mexico City and a Master of Science in Aerospace Medicine from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Emmanuel completed a diploma in emergency medicine and then worked for Mexico City’s Police Department as a flight surgeon in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service “Condors” where he participated in hundreds of rescue missions and aeromedical evacuation within the Mexico City metropolitan area.

He has volunteered in medical missions in underserved regions throughout Mexico and in Nigeria, Africa. He was a volunteer paramedic for the Mexican Red Cross for more than 5 years.

Emmanuel has participated as a crew member of an analog mission at NASA Johnson Space Center: in 2017 he was selected to participate in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) XI mission where he spent 30 days in a capsule simulating a deep space long duration mission. This mission aimed to understand the behavioral and physiological effects from isolation and confinement.

He currently serves as deputy chief scientist at the NASA funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health, where he manages different research projects in different space biomedical research areas going from radiation protection to psychological changes during deep spaceflight.

Dr. Urquieta has a dual faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a FAA private pilot and scuba diver.

Dr. Aenor Sawyer

Chief Health Innovation Officer

Translational Research Institute for Space Health

Dr. Aenor Sawyer, is the Chief Health Innovation Officer for the NASA-funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH). She has over two decades of experience in health tech innovation and remote medical management. As a UCSF Orthopedist, she is Director of the Skeletal Health Service and the Director of UC Space Health. She is Co-Founder/Co-Director of the UCSF Center for Advanced 3D+ Technologies, Co-Founder of the Center for Digital Health Innovation, UCSF HEALTH HUB board member and member of the UCSF IT Governance Committee. Dr. Sawyer serves as Expedition Medic and Medical Advisor for extreme ocean rowers. External roles also include prior Associate Editor of Nature’s Digital Medicine Journal. She is Chair of MCRI Health Technology Advisory Board, Board Member for NODE Health, and External Advisory Board Member of the Scripps Translational Sciences Institute.

Konstantin Chterev

Space Psychologist Lead


Konstantin Chterev is the Space Psychologist Lead at SAGA Space Architects, who are conducting a 3-month lunar analogue mission in Arctic Greenland until December 2020. At SAGA, Konstantin is responsible for facilitating internal and external psychological research, as well as tailoring psychological theory to aid architectural design. He is a Psychology PhD candidate at the University of Surrey researching extreme environments, also holding a Master’s in Occupational Psychology from the institution, and is an International Space University alumnus attending the Space Studies Program in 2018. 

Konstantin has assisted on projects for NASA, ESA, and various citizen-science organisations including the Austrian Space Forum and Space Generation Advisory Council. His research primarily looks into human performance in extreme environments, specifically well-being, group dynamics, and environmental factors.