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  /  Dr. Kathryn Sullivan

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan is a former astronaut and NOAA Administrator. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer. Dr. Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. Her shuttle support assignments included: software development; launch and landing lead chase photographer; Orbiter and cargo test, checkout and launch support; extravehicular activity (EVA) and spacesuit support crew for several flights; and Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control for numerous Shuttle missions. On October 11, 1984, on her first mission, STS-41G, Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space when she and Mission Specialist David C. Leestma successfully conducted a three and a half hour EVA to demonstrate the feasibility of actual satellite refueling. Dr. Sullivan’s impressive expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA’s Chief Scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity. Following completion of her service at NOAA, she was designated as the 2017 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. She received a bachelor of science degree in Earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1973, and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) in 1978.

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