Dr. Anita Sengupta is a rocket scientist and aerospace engineer who for over 20 years has been developing technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, Asteroids, and Deep Space. She started her career working on the Delta IV launch vehicle at Boeing Space Systems. Her doctoral research at NASA focused the developing the ion engines that powered the Dawn spacecraft to reach Vesta and Ceres in the main asteroid belt. She was then responsible for the supersonic parachute system that was integral to the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars in 2012. She then led the development of NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory, a laser-cooling quantum physics facility on board the International Space Station which will create the coldest spot in the Universe, launched in 2018. Her next venture is the design of a magnetically levitating, electromagnetically propelled, passenger vehicle in a vacuum tube, known as the hyperloop.
Dr. Sengupta received her MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California, where she teaches spacecraft, entry, and landing system design for planetary exploration. In her spare time she is an avid pilot, motorcyclist, scuba diver, snowboarder, runner, public speaker, and science fiction fan.