1956: A Record-Setting Astronaut Begins Her Life’s Journey

October 8, 1956

Janice E. Voss, an engineer and NASA astronaut, was born in South Bend, Indiana. In 1975, she received a B.S. in engineering science from Purdue University. Voss earned her M.S.in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a couple of years later. In 1987, Voss received her PhD in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT; for her doctoral studies, she focused on the development of algorithms to identify frequencies, damping, and mode shapes for the International Space Station.

Voss was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1990 and, the following year, she officially became an astronaut. Voss went on to serve as a mission specialist in five missions into space – STS-57 (in 1993); STS-63 (in 1995); STS-83 (in 1997); STS-94 (also in 1997); and STS-99 (in 2000). She is one of the top record-holders when it comes to the highest number of spaceflights for female astronauts. Voss logged more than 49 days altogether in space and traveled a total of 18.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) in 779 Earth orbits.

Voss, who died of breast cancer in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2012 at the age of 55, cited Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time as one of her biggest inspirations for a career as an astronaut. A Wrinkle in Time is about a girl who travels through time to rescue her father, who is an astrophysicist for the U.S. government, from a faraway planet on which he has been imprisoned. Voss brought this book with her when she flew into space on the mission STS-94, and she subsequently mailed that copy to L’Engle.

Photo Credit: NASA

For more information on Janice E. Voss, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_E._Voss

One thought on “1956: A Record-Setting Astronaut Begins Her Life’s Journey

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: