Decisions Great and Small

Decisions Great and Small

When women were admitted to the Astronaut Corps in 1978, many decisions needed to be made. Some were very important and some were mundane. Most of those decisions had to be made with male engineers. There were no female engineers at NASA back then. Soon after we arrived, we were invited to a meeting with the engineers to decide on something of great importance. How would women contain their urine while waiting on the launch pad for liftoff?...

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A Dream Comes True

A Dream Comes True

In the early 1960’s, NASA was ready to fly people into space. They chose from the ranks of the military test pilots. These men were called the Mercury 7 Astronauts because they flew during the Mercury program. They had gone through a great deal of testing to make sure they were physically and mentally able to withstand what had been predicted to befall humans in space. No one knew what the rigors of microgravity would do to the human body. Did...

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Let’s Celebrate Our Nation

Let’s Celebrate Our Nation

The Fourth of July means flags and fireworks and there are many other things that remind us of our country’s greatness. I am particularly fond of remembering how our space program made us a leader among nations. Here are some of my thoughts and memories. In the late 1950s our nation had to decide whether we wanted military supremacy in space or to use space for peaceful purposes. The Space Act of 1958 created NASA, a civilian agency, and gave...

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Grounded!

Grounded!

One of the worst things a pilot (or a teenager…) can hear is,” You’re grounded.” For pilots, being stuck on the ground is usually due to one of two reasons – breaking the rules or having a medical problem. When I interviewed for the Astronaut Corps, I had to pass a very thorough physical exam. When I became an Astronaut, I had physicals annually by a Flight Surgeon, someone who has trained in aerospace medicine. If something was found on my...

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Imagine feeling that you are lost in space.  In the early days of spaceflight, Mission Control couldn’t always talk to the Astronauts, leaving them feeling out of touch with Earth.  The silence must have felt eerie. Communication in those days had to be sent and received by ground stations which were part of the NASA Spacecraft Tracking and Data Acquisition Network.  This network consisted of stations spread around the globe but there were gaps...

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Astronaut Humor

Astronaut Humor

This blog originally appeared in 2015 and has been brought back and updated by Dr. Seddon. We hope you will enjoy this revised version of a past fan-favorite. I am often asked what Astronauts are really like. All are very bright (some are brilliant), friendly, hard-working, reliable, and productive. These modern-day heroes became my friends in the Shuttle’s heyday. I also had the opportunity to serve twice on Selection Boards for new...

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