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SETI Institute Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

SETI Institute Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

AAPI Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and we couldn't be more inspired by the individuals we have been spotlighting on our social media all month and the contributions they have and are making in our incredible quest to understand our place in the cosmos. We are honored to pay tribute to those who have come before, those who are our colleagues and those who have given us new understanding of our shared universe.


MiMi Aung
MiMi Aung, Engineer
MiMi Aung is an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Project Manager for the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which recently completed its fifth successful demonstration flight. Aung installed the webcam that allowed the public to follow along the development of the drone.


Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Astrophysicist
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995) was an astrophysicist whose groundbreaking work in stellar structure and evolution led to the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983. There are numerous concepts named for him and his work.


Kalpana Chawla
Kalpana Chawla, Astronaut & Engineer
Kalpana Chawla (17 March 1962 – 1 February 2003) was an astronaut and enginner. She was also the first woman of Indian descent to go into space. Tragically, she was one of the seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia when it was destroyed upon re-entry. 


Ted Fujita
Ted Fujita, Meteorologist
Ted Fujita (October 23, 1920 – November 19, 1998) was a renowned meteorologist whose research into severe weather revolutionized the field. The Fujita scale of tornado intensity is named for him, and he also discovered the phenomena of microbusts and downbursts.


Jie Gong
Jie Gong, Atmospheric Scientist
Jie Gong is an atmospheric scientist at NASA Goddard. She is currently developing methods that use satellite data to understand the microphysics of snowfall, ice clouds, and other frozen precipitation.


Madhulika (Lika) Guhathakurta
Madhulika (Lika) Guhathakurta, Astrophysicist
Lika Guhathakurta is an astrophysicist in NASA's Heliophysics Science Division. She is a program scientists for several current missions, including the Solar Dynamic Observatory and STEREO.


Pooja Joshi Jesrani
Pooja Joshi Jesrani, NASA Flight Director
Pooja Joshi Jesrani is a flight director for NASA and in charge of mission control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She also partners with other agencies around the world and is currently focused on the Artemis mission, which seeks to return humans to the Moon in 2024.


Meng Jin
Meng Jin, Physicist
Meng Jin is a physicist here at the SETI Institute whose research focuses on on the origin of space weather such as solar activity in the form of coronal mass ejections and solar energetic particles. He studies not only our own Sun but exoplanetary systems as well.


Ellison Onizuka
Ellison Onizuka, Astronaut & Engineer
Ellison Onizuka (June 24, 1946 – January 28, 1986) was an astronaut and engineer. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he was a test pilot with the United States Air Force. He was onboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it was destroyed soon after launch, killing all seven crew members.


Lien Pham
Lien Pham, Spacecraft Dressmaker
Lien Pham is a "spacecraft dressmaker" for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has been making thermal blankets for spacecraft for the last two decades, although she began her career at JPL as a cabler for the Cassini spacecraft.


Josephine Santiago-Bond
Josephine Santiago-Bond, Engineer
Josephine Santiago-Bond is the Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance Institutional Division at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. She began her NASA career as an engineering intern and since then has worked on numerous design projects and created an entire branch at KSC, which she leads.


Mia Siochi
Mia Siochi, Engineer
Mia Siochi is a materials engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center, where she has worked since 1990. Her current work involves nanotechnology to develop self-healing material for spacecraft, and she helped invent a polymer gauze that, when electrically charged, can aid in healing human skin.


Michael Wong
Michael Wong, Planetary Scientist
Michael Wong is a planetary scientist here at the SETI Institute whose research focuses on planetary atmospheres. His analysis of data from the mass spectrometer on the Galileo probe launched his interest in cloud-forming gases in Jupiter's atmosphere, and now he is a Participating Scientist on the Juno mission to Jupiter.


Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu, Particle Physicist
Chien-Shiung Wu (May 31, 1912 – February 16, 1997) was a particle physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. She conducted the "Wu Experiment" which proved that parity is not conserved in weak interactions and led to her colleagues receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1957.


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