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Crew 161

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Divya Shankar - Crew Commander

Divya Shankar is a Graduate Student at Skolokovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Moscow pursuing masters in Space Science and Technology and spent one year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a special visiting student.

She is originally from India where she has done her undergraduate studies in Bangalore. Her passion towards space made her specialize in Satellite Communication and has led her to contribute in various space projects. She has worked in satellite projects such as STUDSAT-1 (Launched in July 2010), preliminary designs of STUDSAT-2 and KitCube; High Altitude Ballooning Experiments in India and Russia, Interstellar Spacecraft theoretical engineering designs (Icarus Interstellar & Initiative for Interstellar Studies), Design of Light sails and Solar Sails for interplanetary exploration.

Human Space Exploration is something that fascinates her more and she look forward to have a career in space exploration in spacecraft designs and become an astronaut some point in this space journey.

Adeniyi Adebayo - Crew Executive Officer/Journalist

Adeniyi Adebayo holds a B.Sc and M.Sc in Chemical Engineering with diverse experience in chemical analysis, energy systems and social engineering. He is an experimentalist with more than 15 publications and a patent in enhanced oil recovery. Adeniyi is currently a final-year M.Sc candidate in Energy Systems and Technology at the MIT-affiliated Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology researching effective ways to assure global energy security through conventional and novel resources.

Growing up in rural Nigeria, Adeniyi learnt to look to the ‘stars’ for hope and energy, spending evenings admiring the beauty of the skies. This childhood fascination has led to a life-long interest in space exploration.

He hopes to contribute to developing energy solutions for manned space missions and planet colonization in the future.

Mikhail Khmelik - Crew Engineer

Mikhail Khmelik is a final-year M.Sc student at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. He received his BSc (2013) and first MSc (2015) degree in Power Systems. Since 2012 he has been involved in several research projects that focus on simulation of smart energy systems (super-, mini-, microgrids) and emergency control. He is a co-author of more than 10 scientific papers and has won several grants recognizing his research and academic accomplishments.

During MDRS rotation, Mikhail will apply his engineering skills to keep all systems fixed and operational. During the mission he will also keep track of all main resources and he will be responsible for their optimal usage.

As an electrical engineer Mikhail wants to study the best ways to build reliable and robust energy systems for future planet colonization. He is eager to become a crew member of a future Mars expedition.


Natalia Glazkova - Crew Health Safety Officer/Biologist

Natalia Glazkova is currently a graduate student at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, based in Moscow. As part of her Space Science and Technology masters program, she completed a year at the AeroAstro department at MIT, focusing on the different aspects of human spaceflight. Natalia received her specialist degree (M.Sc equivalent) from Moscow Aviation Institute, majoring in Life Support Systems.

During MDRS rotation, Natalia will apply her knowledge to keep the crew members safe and healthy. She would explore biological processes of plants on Planet Mars.

It has always amazed Natalia how much and at the same time how little humanity has advanced in space exploration. Human space flight has always been for her the most exciting part to learn about. Natalia dreams to be a part of the team that would send the first human mission to Mars.

Veronika Shteyngardt - Crew Astronomer

Veronika Shteyngardt was born in Moscow, a city known for its major contributions to space exploration. She graduated from the reputable Bauman Moscow State Technical University in 2012 as an engineer in space rocket composite construction and worked as an engineer for two years.

To learn more about space engineering, Veronika enrolled in the unique M.Sc program at Skoltech, a new MIT-affiliated university in Moscow. Veronika tries to share her passion for space and astronomy with other people by leading and facilitating excursions to Moscow Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and teaching children rocket science in a space children club she organized in the museum. Astronomy has always been her hobby, with friends and Astroclub, she has visited several observatories, learnt how to use telescope and find amazing objects in the night sky.

Md.Mahbubur Rahman
- Crew Engineer

Md. Mahbubur Rahman is originally from Chittagong, Bangladesh. He holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering with majors in Spacecraft and Satellite Construction from Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University). He is currently a graduate student at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia. Rahman was a visiting student at MIT in the Dept. of Aero Astro.

During MDRS rotation, Mahbubur Rahman along with another crew engineer will build the Mars Regolith Collector, a robotic arm developed to dig the surface of the hard Martian surface and collect the regolith from the surface. He was also a team member with different projects such as “Design of Light sails and Solar Sails for interplanetary exploration”, Kit Cube (Design of a 6U CubeSat to moon for NASA Cube Quest Challenge) “Red Bull Space CAM (TU Munich)”. Rahman’s research interests includes learning about composite materials, spacecraft structures and structural analysis; as well as Spacecraft/Satellite & rocket propulsion. After graduating he is ambitious to work on the “Banghabandhu Satellite Project” in Bangladesh.

Humanity's interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring. Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. “Knowing GOD by book is good, Knowing GOD through his creation is far way better.”
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