January 25th, 2004

Interview with: Erika Wagner openDOOR

Erika Wagner is a PhD student in the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. Her research interests span the field of space physiology, with experience in human centrifuge studies and a current focus on the skeletal effects of reduced weight-bearing. Erika holds a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University as well a Master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and is an alumna of the International Space University summer program. As Science Director for The Mars Gravity Biosatellite Program, she leads a team in developing and carrying out supporting ground experiments, coordinating the science flight manifest, optimizing the payload design to better support research outcomes, and seeking support for the overall mission. As early as mid-2006, the program plans to launch a small unmanned research satellite to low Earth orbit, carrying a payload of adult mice for study and all the systems to support them. This spinning spacecraft will create artificial gravity at 0.38 times Earth gravity, simulating the surface gravity of Mars.