Director of Earth and Space Exploration on Life outside of Earth, Overcoming a Gender Bias, and Meteorites--Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa


Manage episode 246031508 series 2481550
By Justin "HASARD" Lee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest today is Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa, a world-class planetary scientist and currently the Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU. She is a cosmic CSI detective investigating the origins of our solar system, primarily through meteorites.

She has been involved in a number of NASA planetary science missions, including Co-Investigator on the Genesis mission and as Collaborator on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

She was also a member of the Planetary Protection Subcommittee (PPS) and was Chair of the NASA Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extra-terrestrial Materials. Here's a brief highlight from our conversation today.
Meenakshi is a great teacher, especially with a complex subject like the origin of our universe. I also had a chance to interview her husband, former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, so make sure to listen to that episode after this one. In our conversation, Meenakshi and I talk about how meteorites hold the secret to the formation of our solar system, whether she thinks we'll discover life outside of the earth, and some of the obstacles she's had to overcome in her career. Below are the show notes with associated timestamps:

  • Meteorites (min. 03:00)
  • Story from expedition (min. 07:00)
  • How earth formed (min. 11:00)
  • How we date the solar system (min. 14:30)
  • Upcoming missions (min. 22:00)
  • Robots vs. people from a science perspective (min. 24:30)
  • Exoplanets (min. 29:00)
  • Where passion came from (min. 32:30)
  • Obstacles she's overcome (min. 38:00)
  • Traits she looks for in students (min. 39:40)
  • How she met Astronaut Scott Parazynski (min. 44:30)
  • Projects she's working on (min. 48:45)

Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode

I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:
Instagram-- @justinfighterpilot
LinkedIn-- Justin Lee
This episode was edited by Trevor Cabler
If you got value from this episode, please give the show a review by tapping here and scrolling to the bottom where it says: "Write a Review." Make sure you use a unique username. Thanks for the support 👊

51 episodes