|Full Name||Anil Samoilenko Menon Space Facts|
|Profession(s)||• NASA Astronaut
• SpaceX Medical Director
|Famous For||Being an Indian origin physician and a lieutenant colonel at the US Air Force who was chosen by NASA in December 2021 along with nine others to be astronauts for its future missions|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
|Awards||• Theodore Lyster Award
• SpaceX “Kick-Ass” Award
• NASA JSC Group Achievement award for Expedition 45 Medical Team
• U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal
• 173rd Fighter Wing Category V Airmen of the Year
• William K. Douglas Award in Aerospace Medicine (UTMB)
• Air Force Voluntary Service Medal
• Stanford Emergency Medicine Resident Award for Procedural Excellence
• Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency Bedside Teaching Award
• National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Grant
• Stanford Medical Scholars
• Hoopes Prize for outstanding and original undergraduate thesis
• Summa cum laude with highest honors for undergraduate thesis
• John Harvard Scholar, Harvard National Scholar
• Harvard College Dean’s Summer Research Award
• Jewett Community Service Award
• Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalist
• Rensselaer Medal for Math and Science Achievement
• National Science Foundation Young Scholars Grant
|Date of Birth||1976 (Year)|
|Age (as of 2021)||45 Years|
|School||1991 - 1995: Saint Paul Academy and Summit School|
|College/University||• 1995 – 1999: Harvard College
• 1999 – 2001: Jawaharlal Nehru University
• 2003 – 2004: Stanford University
• 2000 – 2006: Stanford Medical School
• 2006 – 2009: Stanford-Kaiser
• 2009 – 2010: Stanford University
• 2010 – 2011: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
• 2010 – 2012: The University of Texas
|Educational Qualification(s)||• 1991 - 1995: High School at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School
• 1995 – 1999: A.B. in Neurobiology at Harvard College
• 1999 – 2001: Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in Medicine and Malayalam at Jawaharlal Nehru University
• 2003 – 2004: MS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University
• 2000 – 2006: Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Medicine at Stanford Medical School
• 2006 – 2009: Emergency Medicine Residency in Emergency Medicine at Stanford-Kaiser
• 2009 – 2010: Wilderness Medicine Fellowship at Stanford University
• 2010 – 2011: Master's Degree in StudyPublic Health at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
• 2010 – 2012: Aerospace Medicine Fellowship in Aerospace Physiology and Medicine at The University of Texas Anil Menon's LinkedIn Account
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||15 October 2016
|Marriage Place||St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St at Houston, TX 77004
|Wife||Anna Menon (Lead Space Operations Engineer at SpaceX)
|Children||He has one daughter and a son.
|Parents||Father- Shunkaran Menon
Mother- Lisa Samoilenko
Father-in-law- Chandler Wilhelm
Mother-in-law- Laura Wilhelm
Some Lesser Known Facts About Anil Menon
- Anil Menon is an Indian origin lieutenant colonel in the US Airforce and SpaceX’s first flight surgeon who was chosen by NASA in December 2021 along with nine others to be astronauts for its future missions.
- In 1975, Dr Anil Menon was born to Indian and Ukrainian immigrant parents in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anil’s father belongs to Ottappalam. His father and grandmother live in New Delhi, and his mother lives in the US. Anil Menon’s great grandfather named Sankaran Nair was a lawyer who was the Viceroy’s counsel when Kerala was a part of Madras.
- In June 1997, Anil Menon started working as a Researcher at Harvard University Department of Neurology and worked till June 1999. In January 2001, he joined BioVis Technology Center, Mountain View, California as an Engineer and worked there till September 2004.
- Anil Menon is also a part-time Lieutenant Colonel at US Air Force Reserve, Patrick, AFB. He started working with US Airforce in May 2008.
- In June 2009, he started working on contract as an Emergency Medicine Physician at Area Hospitals in Los Angeles, California, United States.
- In October 2011, Anil started working as a Flight Surgeon at Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group in Houston, Texas Area and worked here till October 2014. In October 2014, he began working as a Flight Surgeon at NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, Texas Area and worked till March 2018.
- On 16 February 2013, Anil Menon first met Anna at their mutual friend’s party. During a taped interview at the party, Anil covered his arms around Anna that surprised her for a moment. They also danced together on Carly Rae Jepsen’s song ‘Call Me Maybe.’ Later, they went on three dates and also worked together at NASA.
Soon, Anil proposed to Anna for marriage where they first met at Peveto art gallery to which Anna said yes.
- In January 2019, he joined National Basketball Association (NBA) as an Event Physician. Anil joined SpaceX at Greater Los Angeles Area as Medical Director in April 2018 and worked till December 2021. At SpaceX, he helped the company to prepare its first human flights by working on its research programme, development of the starship, and private astronaut programmes.
- Anil Menon also worked voluntarily as a Physician with International Medical Corps Cause under Disaster and Humanitarian Relief at Haiti Earthquake in 2010. In April 2015, Anil was a volunteer with the International Medical Corps Cause under Disaster and Humanitarian Relief at Nepal Earthquake and at the 2011 Reno Air Show accident. During the relief work, he logged over 100 sorties and transported over 100 patients.
- The licences and certifications that Anil Menon earned include Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Board Certified in Aerospace Medicine, Aviation Medical Examiner, and State Medical Licenses.
- In a conversation with a media house, Anil was asked why he studied both engineering and doctorate fields. He then answered,
I think working in space and at NASA is really good to combine engineering with some science. Thus, for the Dragon vehicle, several engineering questions arise, but also require medical approaches. For example, in the sanitary stabilization system you need to know the percentage of oxygen and other similar parameters. It is therefore important to know the language of engineers and doctors.”
He further revealed the reason why astronauts liked to eat Indian food in space. He said,
When people are in space, food tastes different because your nose gets stuffy because liquid starts floating up there. So I have heard a lot of astronauts say that Indian food is their favorite food because it is spicier. It is a medical fact.”
- In May 2020, Anil Menon helped Elon Musk to launch the ‘Demo-2’ mission that included building a medical organisation that would support the human system in future missions of SpaceX that was the first humans to space. During his time in India, he also supported a polio vaccination drive for a year while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
- In December 2021, Anil Menon joined NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Houston, Texas as Astronaut Candidate. A team of ten astronauts was selected for the future projects of NASA. Before the final selection, they went through a long selection process of interviews, team exercises, medical and aptitude tests. There were 12000 applicants for NASA’s future projects and six men and four women were selected from this pool of applicants. In December 2021, these ten candidates were announced to receive two years of training which is known as the basic Astronaut Candidate training programme from January 2022 to 2024 before being graduated by NASA. The training included military water survival exercises, fly Nasa’s T-38 training jets, scuba-qualified for the spacewalk training. In a conversation with a media house, Anil Menon shared his experience when he received a call from NASA on his selection as an astronaut. He said,
I was in California and got a call. The person started talking about the Dragon capsule because I was working at SpaceX at the time. I thought it was a business call. And halfway through, it turned out to be a joke. The Chief of the Astronaut Office said ‘I’m just kidding, do you want to be an astronaut?’ and I said, ‘Sign me up’.”
- Anil Menon was posted in Afghanistan during ‘Operation Enduring Freedom.’ He was also a part of the ‘Himalayan Rescue Association’ at Mount Everest to protect the climbers.
- Anil Menon likes the Indian state ‘Kerala’ by heart. In a conversation with a media reporter, he revealed his happiness level whenever he visited India. He said that visiting India taught him a lot to grab the warm and welcoming skills that helped him to apply and prepare for his astronaut job. He narrated,
Kerala has a special place in my heart. People are so welcoming but they are a little surprised when they hear my accent. They are so warm and welcoming. Spending time in India really helped prepare me for this job, as these are the same skills that I will need to apply as an astronaut in the future. India is such a diverse multicultural place, every state has a different language, a different culture and there is so much history.”
- Anil Menon has written more than twenty articles in the scientific field. As a certified flight instructor, Anil Menon often teaches general aviation.
- Anil Menon likes Ironman and Kokoro endurance races in his leisure time.
- Anil Menon shared his excitement for being selected as an astronaut at NASA in December 2021. He narrated in a conversation with a media house that it would be exciting to experience how the body changes in space. He said,
Since I love space medicine, I’m excited to find out how the body changes in space. I would like to study about it and bring it back to the community, so I can share the knowledge with others.”