SpaceX engineer and wife of Indian-origin physician set to embark on new Polaris Dawn space mission


Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be launching another special mission to space soon, and the mission is set to carry a four-member crew.

The mission has been announced by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, who last year led the world’s first all-private space crew into orbit.

The release issued by aerospace company SpaceX said that Anna Menon, who is the wife of Indian-origin physician Anil Menon, is a Lead Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX, where she manages the development of crew operations and serves in mission control as both a Mission Director and crew communicator.

The program, titled Polaris Program, is a first-of-its-kind attempt to develop human spaceflight capabilities while raising funding and awareness for vital causes on Earth.

The special space mission has been called by Isaacman, founder and CEO of American payment processing company Shift4, who had commanded the Inspiration4 mission. The mission will have a four-member crew including Anna Menon, Jared Isaacman, Scott Poteet, and SpaceX employee Sarah Gillis.

Anna Menon has had an accomplished career at SpaceX, during which she has led the implementation of Dragon’s crew capabilities, helped create the crew communicator operator role, and developed critical operational responses to vehicle emergencies, such as a fire or cabin depressurization.

She has also served in mission control during multiple cargoes and crew Dragon missions, including Demo-2, Crew-1, CRS-22, and CRS-23. Prior to SpaceX, she served as a biomedical flight controller for the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA for seven years before joining SpaceX. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, and she was chosen by NASA in December of last year along with nine other people to be astronauts for future missions.

Menon is also Lieutenant Colonel at the US Air Force, who was selected by NASA in December last year along with nine others to be astronauts for future missions.

In addition to pursuing her lifelong passion for space, Anna enjoys hiking, flying small airplanes, and salsa dancing and her greatest love is her family, including husband Anil, son James, and daughter Grace, as reported by news agency PTI.

Anna Menon, along with her three crew members, will be a part of the Polaris Dawn mission of SpaceX, which has a bunch of first-time objectives. On the mission, Menon will be acting as a Mission Specialist and Medical Officer.

While announcing the Polaris Program, Isaacman had said, “It is a first-of-its-kind effort to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities while continuing to raise funds and awareness for important causes here on Earth.”

She is married to Anil Menon and has a son James and a daughter Grace. Anil Menon was SpaceX’s first flight surgeon, assisting in the launch of the company’s first humans into space on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission and helping to develop a medical organization to support the human system on future missions. He previously worked for NASA as a crew flight surgeon on multiple voyages to the International Space Station with astronauts.