In this article, you will encounter the Paterson, New Jersey native that became a crew member on three Space Shuttle missions and holds the honor of becoming the first American woman to walk in space. Besides being an astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan also served as an oceanography officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, holding the rank of captain. She additionally held the position of chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
3) Kathryn Sullivan
During her time with NASA, she performed an EVA (tasks that are completed by an astronaut when they are outside of his or her spacecraft) during the Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-41-G in 1984. During her three missions into space, she logged in a total of 532 hours. Following her career as an astronaut, Sullivan took on various positions at Ohio State University and the National Science Board. In 2004, she was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
4) Shannon Lucid
During her career as an astronaut for NASA, Shannon Lucid once held the record for the longest duration stay in space by a female. Out of all the American Six female astronauts, Lucid hit the jackpot with five trips into space, including a lengthy mission aboard the Mir space station. In 1978, Lucid was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps and enjoyed her first taste of the great unknown in June of 1985, when she was part of the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission STS-51-G. Her other adventures into space included shuttle missions: STS-34 in 1989, STS-43 in 1991, and STS-58 in 1993.
During her fifth flight into space, Lucid spent 188 days in space (from March 22 to September 26, 1996). This included 179 days aboard Mir, the Russian space station with transportation provided through Space Shuttle Atlantis. She held unto this feat for about 10 years when on June 16th, 2007, her record was broken when Sunita Williams took the honors for longest duration spaceflight by a woman when she was aboard the International Space Station.
5) Anna Fisher
With a bachelor of science in chemistry (earned in 1971) from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Fisher furthered her education with graduate studies in the field of x-ray crystallographic studies of metallocarbonanes. She followed her chemistry studies with entry into the UCLA medical school, where she earned her doctorate in medicine in 1976.
Fisher was selected as a candidate to train as an astronaut in January of 1978. In August of the next year, she had finished her training and evaluation period. She was now eligible for receiving assignments as a mission specialist on space shuttle flight crews. After completing the one-year of basic training, she worked on a variety of assignments. Early in her career, she developed and tested the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) , most commonly referred to as the shuttle’s “robotic arm.” She also developed and tested an array of procedures that involved the payload bay door contingency spacewalk, an extra-small spacesuit, and contingency repair.