Bios, Pictures, Mission Patch – May 12th

Prakruti “Pari” Raghunarayan: Crew Commander & Crew Journalist
Hi! My name is Prakruti, or you can call me Pari. I am a physics and material science major at UT and the crew’s Commander for our analog astronaut mission this rotation. I do condensed matter research with Dr. Edoardo Baldini at the University of Texas at Austin, will be at Princeton University with their Electrical Engineering Department, and will be conducting materials studies at MDRS alongside our crew members. I am very excited for this mission (especially the hikes we may get to go on!)

Avery Abramson: Executive Officer & Crew Astronomer
Hi! My name is Avery Abramson. I am a rising third-year at UT from northern Virginia, which is around thirty minutes from Washington, D.C. I enjoy acting, practicing martial arts, and singing with my piano. I am also an astronomy major who is currently pursuing research, and I will be at Seoul National University in South Korea this summer to continue my research in extragalactic cosmology!
Noah Mugan: Crew Scientist

Hi! My name is Noah Mugan, and I am a physics major at UT Austin. At MDRS, I will be studying differences in nutrient density between radishes grown in Earth soil and in analog Martian soil. Outside of MDRS, my research focuses on quantum computing!

Kristina Mannix: Health and Safety Officer & Astronomer
My name is Kristina Mannix, I am a Physics and Astronomy double major at the University of Texas at Austin. For MDRS, I am the Health and Safety Officer, I am here to patch up my fellow crew members and to ensure their safety. Additionally, I am working with Avery, the head Crew Astronomer, on the astronomy research with the Robotic Observatory and the Musk Solar Observatory. One fun fact about me is that I am doing research at UT with Dr. Scott Kravitz making a xenon time projection chamber!

Aravind Karthigeyan: Crew Chemist
Hey y’all, my name is Aravind, and I’m a physics and math double major—though, emphasis on the physics. I was selected to be the Crew Chemist for MDRS, and my job is to track radiation levels across the camp to simulate research done in an actual Martian environment. Something interesting about myself is that I lettered in varsity bowling in high school!

Rishabh Pandey: Crew Engineer
I’m Rishabh Pandey, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major and Crew Engineer at MDRS. My job is to use drones to map out the Martian surface using photogrammetry and develop deep-learning algorithms to find the fastest path from A to B in the event of a rescue mission. An interesting fact about myself is that I used to be on the Olympic development team for Water Polo.

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