Below, you can find the latest updates from Rhea as she shares her adventures on her journey into space as well as the many other adventures she’s had in her lifetime! Sign up at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in being notified each time she posts a new article.

The Gods of Space

Posted by on October 1, 2022 in Space | 0 comments

The Gods of Space

While watching all the preparations for the launch of the Artemis rocket, it occurred to me that Shuttle flights during the era when I was flying were also named for Greek gods and goddesses. For instance, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo were appropriate names for what those missions were like and what they planned to do. The god Mercury is often depicted with winged sandals so that he could fly fast. He was the patron of travelers. The Gemini flights carried two crewmembers for the first time like the Gemini twins in mythology. Apollo was the...

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The Need for Speed

Posted by on August 26, 2022 in Capt. Robert "Hoot" Gibson, Weekly Blog | 0 comments

The Need for Speed

Have you ever watched children at play? Some move carefully, quietly, observing while others zoom about relishing the wind in their faces, hair flying. What happens to them when they become adults? I’ve been able to meet many fast movers, the ones who seem to have a need for speed. I married one of them. My husband, Robert “Hoot” Gibson grew up in a family of flyers. His father, Paul, was one of the pilots who first flew the Air Mail. His mother was one of those intrepid women who flew coast to coast in the Ladies Powder Puff Derby. Several...

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Beach House Saga

Posted by on July 25, 2022 in Family, Weekly Blog | 9 comments

Beach House Saga

It was always a joy to take our whole family to the beach in Florida. We usually stayed at one particular house that we adored; but found out last January that it had already been rented out for the whole year. We happened to notice that a house just down the beach was available for this summer. After making sure it had the amenities we needed, we booked it for a week in July. We flew down to Florida and went quickly to the house. Guess what- the house was not at all what we expected. In fact, we started calling it “The house from hell”. When...

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A Gathering of Astronauts

Posted by on June 27, 2022 in Astronaut Life, Weekly Blog | 2 comments

A Gathering of Astronauts

I recently attended the annual Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando. It was a time to see old friends, many of whom are Hall of Famers and several of whom were being inducted into this prestigious group. It is very special for me to wear the large, heavy gold medallion that marks those who are part of this group. All the Hall of Fame members entered the large ballroom according to the date of our first flight. My husband, Hoot Gibson, entered before me since his first flight was in1984 and mine was in 1985. After...

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Teaming Up for Takeoff: 6 Teamwork Strategies that Are Out of this World

Posted by on May 25, 2022 in Published articles, Stories | 0 comments

Teaming Up for Takeoff: 6 Teamwork Strategies that Are Out of this World

We had been selected for the Astronaut Corps and this particular flight because we had proven track records of being good team players, both as leaders and as followers, and had the requisite skills to accomplish a variety of space missions with varying payloads. There are strategies to choose team players, to mold them into a great team, to define their goals, to motivate them for success, to deal with “outliers” and to learn from failure — and success. Read the whole article published at In Business Magazine.

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Thought I Was Gonna Die

Posted by on May 19, 2022 in Space Shuttle, Weekly Blog | 5 comments

Thought I Was Gonna Die

One of the things we had to master as new Astronauts was to be good back-seaters for the pilots in the planes part of the time. As they (and we) gained some confidence in our flying abilities they gave us more and more responsibilities. And of course, we had to learn how to handle emergencies. We had checklists with pages of what to do if something went wrong. Sometimes they did. The pilots were training for a number of jobs, one of which was to join up with the Space Shuttle as it came in for landing. They called the job “chasing” the...

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Just a Handshake…

Posted by on April 26, 2022 in Astronaut Life, Astronaut Wives, Astronauts, Weekly Blog | 4 comments

Just a Handshake…

Have you ever looked back on your life and said “Oh, that changed everything”?  One of those moments happened to me.  It was when our new Astronaut class first got together in 1978.  There were thirty-five of us and most of us didn’t know each other yet.  A reception was planned and we all arrived at the venue.  As I walked in, I noticed two very good-looking fellows down the hallway.  One was blonde and the other dark-haired.  As I got closer, I saw each had vivid blue eyes.  Wow! I was a little uncertain as to what to do.  Fortunately,...

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Space Boo Boos

Posted by on January 31, 2022 in Space Shuttle, Weekly Blog | 0 comments

Space Boo Boos

Despite NASA’s many accomplishments like the moon landing, the Space Shuttle and the Space Station, there were bound to be errors and mistakes, large and small along the way. Want to hear a few that I was aware of? During one of the Shuttle flights one of the females got her long hair caught in a piece of equipment and it pulled a bunch of her hair out. Ouch! NASA bosses (all men at the time) made a rule that all the women had to restrain their long tresses – or cut their hair short. On one of my husband’s flights, there was some concern that...

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The Long Haul

Posted by on January 11, 2022 in Astronaut Life, Space Shuttle, Weekly Blog | 2 comments

The Long Haul

This past endless year of Covid, reminded me of other long waits in my life and the patience it took to get to the end of one thing to begin something better. I remember my many years at NASA and how long each step took to get into space. I had wanted to be an Astronaut since childhood, but NASA didn’t take women. I had faith they would someday. What education, what specialty, what physical requirements would increase my chances of becoming an Astronaut? What were my alternatives? I had to make a lot of guesses and I knew that whatever I...

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Hurricanes Remembered

Posted by on October 5, 2021 in Astronaut Life, Weekly Blog | 0 comments

Hurricanes Remembered

The recent hurricanes that have been devastating so much of the Gulf Coast and beyond remind me what it was like to live near the Johnson Space Center several miles south of Houston near the coast. Over the course of our almost 20 years there, my family had to weather several large tornadoes and hurricanes. We soon learned what steps we had to take before the hurricane and what we would face after. Hurricane Alicia in 1983, a category 3 storm, was our first one. Twenty-one people were killed. It came roaring up over Galveston pushing water...

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