Rachel Kronyak was born and raised in North Arlington, New Jersey and has always been active and passionate about science. As a high school student, she was a member of the soccer, track, and basketball teams, as well as the National Honor Society and local service clubs. Before her senior year, Rachel received a grant to attend a space academy in Alabama, where her interest in NASA became a reality.
Currently, Rachel is an undergraduate student at Penn State, studying Geobiology and Astrobiology. She conducts research on Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) and is working to find a way to efficiently recycle astronaut waste and produce food for long-duration space missions.
During the summer of 2012, Rachel worked as an intern at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on a project dealing with microbial life on Mars. She also has a keen interest in marine science and enjoys scuba diving.