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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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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Head On A Swivel

Head On A Swivel

When I got to NASA in 1978, I had a lot to learn. Being a good flight crew member was one of the most important things I would need to know. Shortly after we got to Houston, we began training to fly in the back seat of the NASA T-38 jets. We knew that if we mastered that kind of flying, we might someday train to fly as a crewmember on the Space Shuttle. How was it going to feel flying with some of the best pilots in the nation? Many of my pilot...

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Silent Thunder.

Silent Thunder.

Storms are a reminder of the majesty and fearsomeness of nature. Like many small children, I was afraid of thunder. I’d cling to my parents, screaming when lightning started. One morning before dawn a storm came up, and I ran crying to my parents’ bed. My father was tired of the fussing, so he scooped me up and took me out to our covered back porch. There we sat as the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed. After a while my terror subsided...

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