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Relativity Space teams with HI-SEAS, NASA to celebrate International Women's Day


California-based aerospace startup Relativity Space will celebrate International Women's Day (March 8) and Women's History Month with a new video highlighting an all-woman analog astronaut crew. 


The new video, which Relativity Space released today, highlights the crew and mission of Sensoria M2, the second all-woman mission at the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) habitat, in October 2020. It followed the first such mission, Sensoria M1, which took place in January 2020.


Sensoria M2, which this reporter participated in, was conducted with partners including NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Sensoria — an organization that supports the inclusion of women and marginalized groups in the space sector —  and Relativity Space, which is gearing up for the first launch of its 3D-printed Terran rocket. 


The Sensoria M2 crew featured in this video included this reporter; Michaela Musilova, mission commander and HI-SEAS and International Moonbase Alliance director; Richelle Gribble, an artist, curator and gallerist; Amanda Knutson, a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force; Dr. Brandy Nunez, a veterinarian, microbiologist and musician; and Beth Mund, science communicator and host of "Casual Space Podcast."


The crew was additionally guided by geoscientist Sian Proctor, an analog astronaut who has completed many missions including the first mission ever conducted at HI-SEAS and professor of geology, sustainability and planetary science at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. 


Together, the six crewmembers, now analog astronauts, spent two weeks living and working as if they were on Mars at the HI-SEAS habitat. On analog missions like this, crewmembers complete scientific research, conduct "Marswalks" in spacesuits and work as a team to overcome the challenges of living in an analog Mars environment.


"At Relativity, our goal is to create and sustain a culture where diversity, inclusion, and equity are integrated into our company’s DNA, to include and celebrate a diverse representation of backgrounds, identities, and perspectives!" Relativity Space said in a statement, found in the image above. 


"In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we are proud to champion the stories and experiences of 7 female analog astronauts, their experiences at the HI-SEAS mission, and the challenges they’ve overcome as they break barriers in aerospace, STEM, and beyond."