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Biography of Jessica Meir, American Jewish university professor, scientist, explorer, and astronaut. She is trained to help direct the first human mission to an asteroid and then to Mars.
She received physiological, survival training, flight classes and a wide range of technical training at space centers around the world.
Jessica Meir’s birth and early studies
Jessica Meir was born in Caribou, Maine, United States of America, on July 1, 1977.
Caribou is a city located in the State of Maine. In the 2010 Census, this city had a population of 8,189 inhabitants.
Jessica Meir studied at “Caribou High School“.
Shortly thereafter, in 1999, Jessica Meir earned a Bachelor of Biology degree from Brown University.
This university is located in the State of Rhode Island and is one of the eight most prestigious universities in the world.
The State of Rhode Island is located in the Northeast region of the USA. It is the second most densely populated state and was the first of the thirteen original colonies to declare independence from British rule.
Jessica Meir and her scientific career
Jessica Meir also graduated from “University of California, San Diego“.
At the “Scripps Institution of Oceanography”, also in San Diego, she earned a doctorate in marine biology.
For her doctorate, Meir studied the physiology of mammals and seabirds, focusing on ambassador penguins and elephant seals.
In her post doctoral research, in 2000, she studied the physiology of “Anser Indicus” geese, which are capable of migrating over the Himalayas.
She analyzed how the body of this goose reacted to the lack of oxygen. She was training a group of birds to fly through a wind tunnel.
In 2000 Jessica Meir graduated with a master’s degree in Space Studies from the “International Space University” in Strasbourg, France.
In 2012, she was selected as an assistant professor of anesthesia at the Harvard Medical School.
Later she studied at the “International University of Space“, where she carried out a series of investigations related to human physiology.
Jessica Meir is also an airplane pilot; She speaks Swedish and Russian.
Jessica Meir Antarctic researcher
In September 2002, she served as an “aquanaut” (kind of like an astronaut, but in the water) on the “NASA Environment Mission Operations” team (NEEMO 4).
American astronaut Peggy Whitson also worked on a NEEMO mission, specifically NEEMO 5.
The NEEMO mission sent groups of astronauts, engineers, and scientists to live in the Aquarius submarine laboratory, in preparation for future space exploration.
At NEEMO in Antarctica, Jessica Meir studied diving physiology and the behavior of “emperor penguins”.
Jessica Meir spent time in Antarctica, at a site called “Penguin Ranch“. She studied the diving skills of the Emperor Penguin.
Later, she also studied elephant seals while diving in the Pacific Ocean in Northern California.
Upon completion of the project, Jessica Meir returned to her activities as a researcher.
This served as the basis for a doctorate from the Institution of “Oceanography Scripps“. Her doctoral research involved the diving physiology of emperor penguins and northern elephant seals.
Meir’s current research focuses on “Anser indicus” geese, which are able to tolerate extreme altitudes and low oxygen levels while flying over the Himalayas.
Jessica Meir NASA astronaut
In the early 2000s, Jessica Meir began working for NASA. She was part of a research group at the “Lockheed Martin’s Human Research Facility”, on human physiology on the space shuttle and on the International Space Station.
During this period, Jessica participated in research flights in reduced gravity and other training for astronauts.
She also did some walking and testing in reduced gravity.
Upon completion of her training, Meir worked as a Control and Communications Agent (CabCom) on various expeditions. Astronaut Sally Ride was the first woman to be appointed by NASA to the position of CabCom on a space mission.
For a year and a half, NASA conducted an extensive search for potential astronauts that will help the Agency push the limits of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system.
Finally, in 2013, eight candidates were selected to be the new NASA astronaut trainees.
Jessica Meir was chosen to be one of eight members of NASA’s “Group 21 of Astronauts“.
As a member of Group 21, she received physiological, survival training, flight classes, and various briefings.
This group received a wide range of technical training at space centers around the world. They have prepared to conduct missions in low Earth orbit, on an asteroid, and on Mars.
These new space explorers know that big, bold things are being done. They are trained to help direct the first human mission to an asteroid and then to Mars.
Jessica Meir was lead CabCom on Expedition 47
Russian shuttle Soyuz TMA-18M transported astronauts who had to go to the Space Station on March 2, 2016, to start Expedition 47.
Scientists want this research to help demonstrate the effects of life in space and thus advance NASA’s “Journey to Mars” program. As an immediate objective, studies are carried out that may have a benefit for all humanity.
Jessica Meir on the BEAM mission
BEAM is an inflatable space habitat. American astronaut Jeff William and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka were the first to access its interior on June 6, 2016.
They collected an air sample and began downloading data from the sensors on the dynamics of the expansion of the first inflatable space habitat.
Jessica Meir was appointed to be part of the technical team in charge of studying and analyzing the data obtained.
Jessica Meir participated in the HTV mission
HTV is a space vehicle built by the Japanese company JAXA. It was launched on August 4, 2013 from the “Tanegashima Space Center” bound for the International Space Station.
It was carrying 3.6 tons of scientific experiments, equipment and supplies to the orbiting complex.
Upon arriving at the Station, it was caught by the Canadarm2 robot arm on August 9, 2013.
After unloading the supplies it carried, the HTV was loaded with waste and debris from the Station.
Then, it was released from the Station and released. It was destroyed during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere on September 7, 2013.
Jessica Meir participated in NASA Expedition 61
Since the International Space Station (ISS) began to be built in 2009, it is necessary to periodically change the astronauts who work on it. Each new group that travels to the ISS is called an Expedition. Jessica Meir participated in Expedition 61, as a flight engineer.
Expedition 61 began on October 3, 2019, when the Russian Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft, launched on September 25, 2019, arrived at the International Space Station. Jessica was a flight engineer.
Parmitano was accompanied by Aleksandr Skvortsov, Andrew Morgan, Christina Koch, Oleg Skripochka and Jessica Meir.
Jessica Meir and Christina Koch made history when, on October 18, 2019, they performed their first spacewalk together, while carrying out a series of repairs.
Jessica Meir also participates in Expeditions 62.
Click here if you want to see this biography in Spanish translation.