CURRENT FEMALE ASTRONAUTS 🚀
16 out of the 47 currently active astronauts are female. These women are outstanding and they are all my personal heroes. Here are their names, the year they were selected, and their brief bios. All of this information and more is on the NASA website http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/astrobio.html
- •Serena Auñón, M.D. (2009)She studied electrical engineering and then got her doctorate in medicine. She spent more than nine months in Russia supporting medical operations for International Space Station crew members in Star City, including water survival training in the Ukraine. She served as the Deputy Crew Surgeon for STS-127. Currently, Dr. Auñón serves in the International Space Station Operations Branch to handle medical issues and the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) Branch.
- •Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Ph.D. (1998)She studied chemistry and is kind of a badass because she can design and build all kinds of technical equipment and fixes cars in her spare time. She's also a private pilot. During her two space flights, Caldwell Dyson logged over 188 days in space, including more than 22 hours in three spacewalks.
- •Jeanette J. Epps, Ph.D. (2009)After doing her undergrad degree in physics, she got her masters and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering with a NASA fellowship. After grad school she worked at Ford Motor Company for two years and her research there resulted in several patents. Then she worked for the CIA as a technical intelligence officer during which time she won multiple performance awards.
- •Christina H. Koch (2013)Bachelor's in electrical engineering, a second bachelor's in physics and then a master's degree in electrical engineering. She worked for NASA in many different capacities after graduation in space instrument development and remote scientific field engineering until she was selected to become an astronaut. She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is now qualified for future assignment.
- •Nicole Aunapu Mann, Major (USMC) (2013)She studied mechanical engineering for her bachelor's degree and fluid mechanics for her master's at Stanford. She is also a marine and has flown in combat missions for Iraqi and Enduring freedom. She has accumulated more than 1,500 flight hours in 21 types of aircraft, 200 carrier arrestments and 47 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. She completed her astronaut training in July 2015 and is now qualified for future assignment.
- •K. Megan McArthur, Ph.D. (2000)Bachelor in Aerospace technology and Ph.D. in oceanography. She served as Chief Scientist during at-sea data collection operations at Scripps, and has planned and led diving operations during sea-floor instrument deployments and sediment-sample collections. She has spent 13 days in space (traveling 5,276,000 miles in 197 Earth orbits) namely for the last mission servicing the Hubble telescope.
- •Anne C. McClain, Major (US Army) (2013)Bachelor of Science in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from West Point. Master's in Aerospace Engineering. Earned a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Bristol. She served 15 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying more than 800 combat hours on 216 combat missions as pilot-in-command and Air Mission Commander. She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is now qualified for future assignment.
- •Jessica U. Meir, Ph.D. (2013)BA in Biology. Master's in Space Studies from International Space University. Earned a Doctorate in Marine Biology (diving physiology) from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD). For her Ph.D. research, Dr. Meir studied the diving physiology of marine mammals and birds, focusing on oxygen depletion in diving emperor penguins (Antarctic field research) and elephant seals (California). She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is now qualified for future assignment.
- •Karen L. Nyberg, Ph.D. (2000)Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. For her graduate research she investigated human thermoregulation and experimental metabolic testing and control, specifically related to the control of thermal neutrality in space suits. She has accumulated 180 days in space over the course of the two missions. And yet she is most famous for leaving behind a toddler while living in the International Space Station.
- •Kathleen (Kate) Rubins, Ph.D. (2009)BS Molecular Biology (studying HIV) , Ph.D. in Cancer Biology (developed the first model of smallpox infections). Dr. Rubins has published and presented her work in numerous papers at international scientific conferences and in scientific journals. She is currently training as Flight Engineer for Expeditions 48 and 49, scheduled to launch in May 2016.
- •Shannon Walker, Ph.D. (2004)BA Physics, MS and Ph.D. Space Physics. Dr. Walker began her professional career as a robotics flight controller. Dr. Walker has assumed the duties as the crew support astronaut for the ISS Expedition 14 crew, which was on orbit for 215 day from September 2006 to April 2007. She has also spent 161 days on the ISS as flight engineer for the flight there and back in the Soyuz spacecraft.
- •Stephanie D. Wilson (1996)Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science from Harvard, Masters in Aerospace Engineering. Acting Chief of Program and Project Integration within the Spaceflight Systems Directorate at Glenn Research Center. Wilson was assigned to the Space Station Operations branch as the lead Crew Support astronaut. Wilson has also served as a member of the 2009 and 2013 Astronaut Selection Boards. A veteran of three spaceflights, Wilson has logged more than 42 days in space.
- •Peggy A. Whitson, Ph.D. (1996)Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Chemistry and a Doctorate in Biochemistry. She has served many roles as a scientist and employee for NASA. She was the first female, non-military Chief of the Astronaut Office. She has accumulated 377 days in space between the two missions, the most for any woman. Whitson has also performed a total of six career spacewalks, adding up to 39 hours and 46 minutes. Whitson is scheduled to launch in late 2016 as part of Expedition 50/51.
- •Sunita L. Williams, Captain (USN) (1998)B.S., Physical Science, U.S. Naval Academy. M.S., Engineering Management, FIT. While onboard the ISS, she established a world record for females with four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). (Astronaut Peggy Whitson subsequently broke the record in 2008 with a total of five spacewalks). In 2012, at 50 hours and 40 minutes, Williams once again holds the record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut.