Punjab girl on Mission Mars

Jasdeep Kaur(right), a dentist from Kapurthala district, with Nasa’s Mars Desert Research Station Mission crew.

Dr Jasdeep Kaur, a dentist from Kapurthala district, is all set to be part of Nasa’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Mission 100B as health and safety officer.

The only Indian in the crew, the 27-year-old Jasdeep Kaur will also double up as a biologist in Grand Junction, the US, where the mission is underway. She is part of the six-member crew of the Europe Space Agency. A Mars-like atmosphere has been created in a desert in Grand Junction where the team is undertaking real-life experiments for the final mission to the planet.

Jasdeep Kaur’s task in Grand Junction will go beyond just health and safety issues of the crew. She will prepare guidelines for the real MARS mission and will explore the deep subsurface of MDRS as well as the existence of deep subsurface organisms in the world.

Her parents, Dr Harbhajan Singh, a homeopath and mother Ravinder Kaur, a manager with a nationalised bank, are ecstatic about Jasdeep’s achievement. “My daughter has keen interest in forensic odontology and space dentistry. Jasdeep is currently working on effect of microgravity on human body,”   Dr Singh said.

 In 2008, Jasdeep Kaur was in Mangalore to receive the top honour from the prestigious Student Clinician American Dental Association for her table clinic. After her dental degree from Ludhiana, she completed double masters in forensic Odontology from Belgium.

Dr Singh said the university, based on her research in space dentistry, recommended her name to the European Space Station. “There she undertook research on the impact of space pressure on tooth and jaw. When the Mars mission came up, she applied and was selected after a series of interviews and tests,” he said.   Dr Kaur is also the editor-in-chief of the journal of Aeronautic Dentistry and President of International Forensic Odontology. She has published three medical books and has four patents pending on her research studies.

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