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Space History Photo: Sheila Scott

space history, nasa, women, aviation
Sheila Scott, shown here with her Piper Aztec "Mythre," served as governor of the British section of the Ninety-Nines. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency is Sheila Scott, born on April 27, 1927 in London, England, who served as governor of the British section of the Ninety-Nines, an international association of licensed women pilots.

The Ninety- Nines originated as an association of American women pilots who first gathered on November 2, 1929 at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. All 117 registered female pilots in America at the time were invited, out of which twenty-six attended the first meeting and 99 became charter members dedicated to mutual support and the advancement of aviation.

Under the leadership of Amelia Earhart, the first president, and the women who followed her, the organization grew and gained international recognition.

Sheila Scott is pictured here with her Piper Aztec "Mythre," in which she made her world and a half flight in 1971. On this flight, she became the first person to fly over the North Pole in a single engine plane. She carried special NASA equipment for a communications experiment testing the Interrogation Recording and Location System (IRLS) of the Nimbus polar orbiting satellite.

The IRLS equipment, a Balloon Interrogation package, transmitted data on Scott's location during the 34,000- mile around the world flight to the Nimbus satellite, which relayed it to NASA's ground station at Fairbanks, Alaska and then to a computer center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Sheila Scott's record-making, historic flight confirmed the satellite's ability to collect location data from remote computerized and human-operated stations with a unique "mobile platform" location test. She died on October 20, 1988.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.