Moms in Space
Anna Fisher: The 1st Space Mom
In addition to serving as a boundary-breaking astronaut, Fisher served as a physician in the recovery helicopter for three space shuttle missions, helped to develop rescue procedures for shuttle missions and worked as chief of the space station branch from 1996 to 2002, when the International Space Station was first being constructed. Just last year, after over three decades of service, Fisher retired from NASA.
After completing her doctorate in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Nyberg joined NASA's Crew and Thermal Systems Division as an environmental control systems engineer. After studying firefighter-suit cooling tech to improve thermal controls in spacesuits, she went on to become an astronaut. So far, Nyberg has accumulated 180 days in space over the course of two missions, according to NASA.
McClain also has served as a senior army aviator, has logged over 2,000 flight hours in 20 different aircraft and has received a number of military honors. At the same time, McClain has had a completely different career: a professional rugby player! McClain recently made headlines when she posed for a spacesuit photo shoot with her 4-year-old son.
Having served with NASA as a lead mission specialist and a backup U.S. crewmember, among other roles, Coleman logged more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the space shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station, NASA officials said. In 2016, Coleman left NASA.
Stott earned a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Central Florida and went on to serve with NASA for 27 years. She retired from NASA in 2015 to pursue a full-time career as an artist and advocate for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education.
Piper served aboard two space flights — STS-115 in 2006 and STS-126 in 2008 — ultimately spending over 27 days in space and more than 30 hours outside the shuttle over five spacewalks. Piper retired from NASA in 2009 to return to the U.S. Navy.
Auñón-Chancellor was selected by NASA in 2009 and, in addition to her extensive training, spent two months in Antarctica from 2010 to 2011 hunting for meteorites with the ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) expedition. She also served as the lead Capcom, or capsule communicator, for the SpaceX-4 and SpaceX-8 cargo resupply missions. Auñón-Chancellor will launch on her first spaceflight on June 6.
Yamazaki was selected as an astronaut candidate for the International Space Station in 1999 and was certified as an astronaut in 2001. In 2008, she was assigned as a crewmember for the STS-131(19A) mission, and in 2010, she flew to the space station aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 2011, Yamazaki retired from JAXA.
Kondakova completed her first flight from 1994 to 1995, visiting Russia's Mir space station, and was in space for 169 days. In 1997, she completed her second flight aboard NASA's sixth shuttle mission, to rendezvous and dock with Mir. In total, Kondakova logged over 178 days in space.
After receiving a diploma in biomechanics and physiology of movement and a doctorate in neuroscience, she flew on the Cassiopée mission from Aug. 17 to Sept. 2, 1996. Haigneré has one daughter. She retired from the European Space Agency in 2002.
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