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Astronaut candidate's profile

The candidates participating in the astronaut selection process all have unique journeys and outstanding qualities and skills. You can read their remarkable profiles here.

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Dhopade, Priyanka

Priyanka Dhopade

Where were you born?
Mumbai, India

Where do you currently live?
Oxford, United Kingdom


  • Bachelor's, aerospace engineering – Ryerson University
  • Master's, aerospace engineering – Monash University
  • Ph.D., aerospace engineering – University of New South Wales Canberra

Photo of the astronaut candidate during the aptitude tests. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

What is your current job?

Researcher and lecturer in engineering science, Oxford University, Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory - My research involves creating computer models of jet engines to better predict the heat transfer inside the engine. Jet engines are designed to work at extremely high temperatures, pressures and accelerations. At some points in the engine, the temperature of the air can be greater than the melting point of the parts inside, which means that they need to be cooled using cold air from the front half of the engine. More efficient cooling methods result in more efficient jet engines, reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of space exploration. I have always been driven by the idea that there is a universe out there for us to explore. This drive has taken me from being a little girl admiring Roberta Bondar's poster on my bedroom wall, to a researcher in aerothermodynamics at Oxford University. All along, I knew that if I persevered, I would eventually qualify to travel to space, like Bondar and Julie Payette did, many years ago. They were incredible role models, scientists, astronauts. Now it's my turn to lead.

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