(c) Jesse Dittmar
Kellie Gerardi is an aerospace, defense and technology professional and popular science communicator. She is a bioastronautics researcher with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS), where she has flown multiple microgravity research campaigns evaluating spacesuits and testing technologies in zero-g. In 2021, IIAS announced a contract to fly her to space as a Payload Specialist on a dedicated research flight with Virgin Galactic. Her spaceflight will mark the world's first industry-sponsored researcher to fly to space on a commercial spacecraft. Kellie serves on the Defense Council for the Truman National Security Project and on the Board of Directors for The Explorers Club, whose prestigious flag she carried on a crew expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). Kellie also holds a leadership position in global Mission Operations at Palantir Technologies, having previously served as the Technical Project Manager for the company's philanthropic portfolio. Kellie is the author of Not Necessarily Rocket Science and the upcoming children's book series LUNA MUNA. Kellie lives in Jupiter, Florida with her husband Steven, and their daughter Delta V. You can connect with Kellie Instagram or TikTok.