A member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe, Aaron Yazzie was born in 1986 in Tuba City, Arizona. This town is part of the Navajo Nation, a Native American territory covering about 27,413 square miles (70,999.3 square kilometers) altogether in sections of northeastern Arizona; southeastern Utah; and northwestern New Mexico. Yazzie grew up in the city... 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 time since she began working for Lockheed Martin Corporation as a senior systems engineer in 2006, Vanessa Aponte Williams has been significantly involved in that company’s initiatives on behalf of human spaceflight. As Lockheed Martin’s senior manager for ascent element mission operations, for example, she oversees the development of integrated systems to help... Continue Reading →

Over the past couple of decades, Mamta Patel Nagaraja has worked on various spaceflight priorities and initiatives at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). “I believe in the power of knowledge, of discovering, of exploring,” she said when describing her longtime passion for that field of human endeavor. Patel was born in Anaheim, California.... Continue Reading →

August 31, 1965 The maiden flight of the cargo plane “Super Guppy,” which was given that nickname due to both its extra-large size and fish-like appearance, took place in southern California between the Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles and the Kern County Airport at the southern end of the Central Valley. At the time of its... Continue Reading →

Katherine Johnson was one of the pioneering National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) African-American females to be featured, along with supervisor and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan and engineer Mary Jackson, in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. (Johnson was portrayed in that Oscar-nominated film by Taraji P. Henson, with Octavia Spencer playing the part of Vaughan and... 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 →

Kalpana Chawla, an American astronaut who became the first woman of Indian descent to travel into space, was born in the city of Karnal in northern India in 1962. As a child, she demonstrated a strong enthusiasm for human flight by drawing pictures of airplanes. She also visited flying clubs in that region of India... Continue Reading →

The trailblazing NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao was born in Milwaukee in 1960. The son of immigrant Taiwanese parents of Han Chinese ancestry, Chiao grew up in Danville, California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. Chiao went on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical... Continue Reading →

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