A day after reports of her selection in NASA space mission were published, Shawna Pandya has denied being part of the mission. She has provided some clarifications through her Facebook post. She said that some of her earlier statements were misinterpreted, which led to the confusion. She stated that she had interned for NASA once, but she is no longer a part of it. Her Facebook post reads as follows:
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. I am not an opera singer; I have sang 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 make 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.