Morgan Kainu recently graduated with her BA in Anthropology from the University of North Texas (UNT) and is a certified Applied Anthropologist with a focus in the Anthropology of Outer Space. She is a veteran analog astronaut of four missions and has held roles as Crew Health and Safety Officer, Lead Flight Director for Remote Mission Support, Commander, Journalist, and Geologist/Scientist.
During her Undergraduate career, her research led her to discover Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) where she learned that there was an opportunity to start a Collegiate Chapter at her University. In October 2017, the University of North Texas Chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space was founded and they have since participated in the SEDS SAT-2 and University Student Rocketry Challenge (USRC). In April, 2019, Morgan had the pleasure of taking the initiative to work directly alongside the NASA STEM Outreach team to plan the NASA Live TV event: The Future of Space (a live discussion for college students which included senior NASA leadership including Administrator Jim Bridenstine and astronauts aboard the International Space Station) and ensure its promotion and success. She was excited to have the opportunity to attend the event in person on April 29, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Morgan’s involvement in the space community also includes her role as an acting Co-Chair for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space’s (SEDS) annual conference – SpaceVision, and conducting research and asset management for an aerospace client. She has also held the role of Sponsorship Manager for the annual NewSpace Conference for Space Frontier Foundation.. During her collegiate experience, Morgan also had the opportunity to conduct UX design research for the National Association of Applied Anthropology (NAPA) for the redesign of their website and was able to present her research at the annual Society for Applied Anthropologists (SfAA) Conference in Portland, Oregon in March 2019. Currently, she is in the works to have her work published and is working on an initiative with fellow peers to start a blog for NAPA that details UX and Design Anthropology and its applications in the real world.
In continuation of education, she is currently attending the Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy as a part of class 2001 and participating in their Orbital Mechanics, Mission Simulation, and Life Support System course, and plans to pursue a Masters degree to continue learning about Applied Anthropology, architecture and UX, and how they can assist in solving complex human factors problems for deep space missions and habitat design. She also has a goal to participate in the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP) to further develop a well-rounded perspective, knowledge and skills in space. During and after her educational career, Morgan hopes to work closely with aerospace and space agencies on developing habitats and missions by understanding the human perspective of those who will be utilizing them on long-duration missions to Mars and beyond.