In October 2022, NASA astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann became the first enrolled female member of a Native American tribe to travel into space. John Herrington, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, had made history in 2002 as the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to fly in space. (William R. Pogue, who... Continue Reading →

Sandra Cauffman, who has charted a trailblazing career as an engineer at NASA, was born in the central region of Costa Rica in 1962. She and her brother grew in a single-parent home after their mother Maria Jerónima Rojas made the lifesaving decision to leave her abusive husband. Even with their mother holding down two... Continue Reading →

Scientist and NASA astronaut Fernando “Frank” Caldeiro was born in Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires on June 12, 1958. As a young immigrant to the United States, however, he regarded both New York City and the Florida community of Merritt Island as his actual hometowns. Caldeiro graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in... Continue Reading →

June 24, 1913 Gustaaf Deloor, who made noteworthy contributions to both road bicycle racing and the exploration of outer space, was born in the town of De Klinge in Belgium. He was the youngest of five brothers. The next-youngest brother was Alfons, and both he and Gustaaf learned how to ride bicycles from their third-oldest... Continue Reading →

In 2018, Pooja Joshin Jesrani became the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as a flight director at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA’s flight directors are responsible for managing operations for various human spaceflight initiatives. Jesrani’s own role in this regard has involved overseeing the ground team for the International... 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 →

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 →

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