Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1951. She earned a B.S. degree in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1973 and a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in 1978. It was also in 1978 that Sullivan formally became one... Continue Reading →

In December 2006, Joan Higginbotham became the third African American woman to fly into outer space. The first African American woman to do so was Mae Jemison, who made her pioneering flight in 1992. About five months before Higginbotham’s spaceflight, Stephanie Diana Wilson became the second African American woman to journey into space when she... Continue Reading →

NASA astronaut and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) pilot George D. Zamka was born to a Colombian mother and Polish father in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1962. Zamka grew up living at one point or another in each of the following places: New York City; the village of Irvington, New York; the city of Medellin,... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

In the summer of 2006, Stephanie Diana Wilson became the second African American woman to fly into outer space. (The first African American woman to do so was Mae Jemison, who made that pioneering flight in 1992.) Wilson has also achieved another distinction during her NASA career. She has spent more time in outer space... Continue Reading →

In 1997, Carlos Ismael Noriega made history as the first Peruvian-born astronaut to fly into outer space. He had been born in Peru’s capital city of Lima in 1959. In a 2016 interview with the University of Southern California (USC) News, Noriega discussed his family’s move to the United States. “We came to this country... Continue Reading →

In 2001, Mark L. Polansky became the first Korean-American to travel into outer space. He had been born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1956. His mother Edith is of Korean descent, and his late father Irving was Jewish. When he was only 13, Mark Polansky began to develop a strong interest in spaceflight while watching... Continue Reading →

In 2004, Joseph Michael Acabá made history as the first person of Puerto Rican descent to be named as a NASA astronaut candidate. Acabá was born in 1967 in Inglewood, California. His parents, Ralph and Elsie Acabá, are from the municipality of Hatillo in Puerto Rico and had moved to California earlier in the decade.... Continue Reading →

In 2018, Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor became only the second woman of Hispanic descent to fly into outer space. (Ellen Ochoa, who is of Mexican descent, made her first spaceflight in 1993.)  Auñón-Chancellor (she pronounces Auñón as ON-un) was born in Indianapolis in 1976. Her father, Dr. Jorge Auñón, is a Cuban exile who arrived in... Continue Reading →

On July 16, 1969, the three astronauts of Apollo 11 began a momentous journey when a Saturn V rocket launched their spacecraft into the heavens from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida. A half-century later, the Moon-bound trip undertaken by Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins remains one of the greatest... Continue Reading →

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