Bioastronautics Symposium: Space for All – Opening Spaceflight to People with Disabilities

Bioastronomics Symposium


Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and Johns Hopkins Alumni Association

Presented by Hopkins at Home and Bioastronautics @ Hopkins.

Please join us September 26 at 2 p.m. EDT for the fifth in a series of mini-symposia presented by Hopkins at Home and Bioastronautics @ Hopkins, introduced and moderated by Dr. Mark Shelhamer (Director of the JHU Human Spaceflight Lab). This session will focus on making space travel inclusive for people with disabilities and features Dr. Sheyna Gifford, Sarah Hasnain, and Dr. Bonnielin Swenor and includes a live Q&A session moderated by Dr. Mallika Sarma.

Please contact Linda McLean ( or Dr. Mark Shelhamer ( at least one week prior to the event if you have an access need or request. ASL interpreter and CART will be provided.

ABOUT Dr. Sheyna Gifford

Dr. Gifford is an associate professor of Orthopedics and the rehabilitation physician for St. Louis University.  She is board certified in rehabilitation medication,  a senior Aeromedical Examiner for the FAA, and the head of Medical Operations for Astroaccess, a mission to expand inclusion and disability representation on Earth and in space.

ABOUT Sarah Hasnain

Sarah Hasnain is an Engineer, Innovation Program Coordinator, and Founder & Lead of the Human Spaceflight Innovation Network at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Their work is rooted in impactful solutions to critical challenges on Earth and in Space: Systems Integrator for autonomy and dust mitigation via the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC); Project Manager and Lead Inventor of a patent-pending Pulsar-based Autonomous Navigation (XNAV) toolkit; Software Engineer in the Science Operations Center (SOC) for the Dragonfly Mission exploring Titan’s surface and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) – NASA’s first planetary defense mission. Hasnain’s interests include Space-Earth translational innovation, (analog) astronautics, disability-centered human factors, AI Ethics, and sociotechnical impacts.

ABOUT Dr. Bonnielin Swenor

Dr. Swenor is the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center, which aims to shift the paradigm from “living with disability” to “thriving with a disability” through research, education and policy. Dr. Swenor’s research is motivated by her personal experience with low vision and focuses on three overlapping areas: removing barriers to health and economic wellbeing for people with disabilities, addressing health care disparities for the disability community; and ensuring people with disabilities have equitable access to education and are included in research. Dr. Swenor, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, holds joint appointments at the School of Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute and in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 Event Date
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Start Time: 2:00pm EDT

Virtual Livestream

Hopkins at Home

Office of Alumni Relations
Joe Letourneau
Lifelong Learning
(800) JHU-JHU1

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