Q&A - Deep space exploration with Mary Lynne Dittmar

Q&A with Mary Lynne Dittmar from the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

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Deep space is the next frontier in human exploration, as NASA reaches beyond the International Space Station to Mars and across our solar system. This presents many challenges, known and unknown, some of which are being studied in the microgravity conditions aboard ISS.

To find out more about this, I spoke to Mary Lynne Dittmar, a 25-year veteran of the space industry and leader of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. I asked her about the microgravity conditions in deep space and the challenges this presents.

Ben Johnson

Magazine Editor, Nature Medicine, Springer Nature

I trained as a virologist, starting with an undergraduate degree in virology from the University of Warwick, UK. My PhD, in influenza virus genetics and immunoevasion, was from Public Health England and the University of Reading, UK, with Maria Zambon and Wendy Barclay. My research interests then moved to smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and cell adhesion, while a postdoc at Imperial College London with Geoffrey Smith, FRS. I then joined open-access publisher BioMed Central in 2011 as an editor and then associate publisher and was Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature from 2016, running the Nature Research Communities and other online engagement activities for researchers. I joined Nature Medicine in 2021, with responsibility for news and opinion content, and am based in the London office.