News were circulated about an Indian-origin woman, Shawna Pandya stating that she was shortlisted for NASA.
But she denied all the reports that stated being shortlisted for NASA.
In a Facebook post she clarified that "The Canadian Space Agencyastronaut selection is ongoing and will be finalized by the end of this year; Pandya said that she was not a part of the selection".
She also clarified that she was not a neurosurgeon or an opera singer.
Shawna Pandya on her Facebook Post she wrote:
Thank you all for your recent well-wishes and support; it is really fantastic to see such enthusiasm for space and exploration. I am many messages behind, but will get to them all in the coming days.
In light of the many many media reports and interviews over the past 24 hours, I would just like to make a few clarifications about my work and qualifications, as I have noticed more than a few misstatements.
“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”. “I remain, however, a steadfast, committed and dedicated teammate and crew member to the work of both projects”.
My work is separate from the work of the Canadian Space Agency and that of NASA, and should not be represented as such. The Canadian Space Agency astronaut selection is ongoing and 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.
Any articles stating that I am a neurosurgeon are mistaken. I previously trained in neurosurgery for a short period; however, my medical license is in general practice.
I am not an opera singer; I have sung opera on stage once. It went well and I would do it again; however, just as boxing once does not a boxer make, neither does that one event makes me an opera singer.
I look forward to continuing my work as a physician, speaker and citizen-scientist astronaut and aquanaut, and just as importantly, look forward to continuing my work with outreach and education about these projects.
Dr Shawna Pandya is working as a citizen-scientist, astronaut with Project Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere and physiological, health, and environmental observations in Microgravity.