November 8, 1881 Aviation pioneer and spaceflight theorist Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born in Paris, France. With a strong background in engineering, he made major contributions to the origins of heavier-than-air flight in Europe during the first decade of the 20th century. In 1903, Esnault-Pelterie invented the aileron -- a movable airfoil that could be installed at the... 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 →

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 →

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