[sarex] First Woman Station Commander Arrives for Historic Spaceflight
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Fri Oct 12 13:13:44 PDT 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
> Oct. 12, 2007
> John Yembrick
> Headquarters, Washington
> john.yembrick-1 at nasa.gov
> Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters
> Johnson Space Center, Houston
> nicole.cloutier-1 at nasa.gov
> FIRST WOMAN STATION COMMANDER ARRIVES FOR HISTORIC SPACEFLIGHT
> WASHINGTON - NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson arrived at the International
> Space Station Friday to begin her tenure as the first woman to
> command a station mission.
> Whitson, Soyuz Commander and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and
> Malaysian Spaceflight Participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor docked
> their Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft to the station at 10:50 a.m. EDT. The
> crew launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
> Whitson officially will become the station commander after a ceremony
> Friday, Oct. 19, at approximately 3:15 p.m. EDT. This change of
> command event will mark the formal handover of the station to Whitson
> and Malenchenko, just days before the Expedition 15 crew members and
> Shukor depart.
> "I think it's special that I get the opportunity to play that role,"
> Whitson said when asked about being the first woman station
> commander. "But I think it's also special to have an opportunity to
> demonstrate how many other women also work at NASA."
> Another female astronaut, space shuttle Discovery Commander Pam
> Melroy, will reach another milestone in late October when she and her
> crew arrive at the station. It will mark the first time two women
> have led space missions at the same time.
> To familiarize themselves with station systems and procedures,
> Expedition 16's Whitson and Malenchenko will conduct more than a week
> of handover activities with Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor
> Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov and Expedition 15 and 16
> Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson. Whitson and two other crew members
> will perform three spacewalks during Expedition 16 to prepare the
> station for the activation of the Harmony node. The Expedition 16
> spacewalks also will prepare for the relocations of Harmony and
> Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, a docking port.
> This is Whitson's second six-month rotation aboard the orbiting
> complex. She previously served as a flight engineer on Expedition 5
> in 2002, when she became NASA's first station science officer,
> conducting 21 investigations in human and life sciences. During that
> mission, she also used the station's robotic arm to help add two
> truss segments to the station's backbone and performed a spacewalk to
> install debris shielding.
> Whitson was born and raised in Iowa, where at an early age she was
> inspired by the men who walked on the moon. "I thought 'what a cool
> She decided she wanted to fly in space after graduating from high
> school, which was the same year they picked the first set of female
> astronauts. Whitson knew she wanted to work for NASA, if not as an
> astronaut, then as a scientist.
> Whitson received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry
> from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1981 and a doctorate in biochemistry
> from Rice University in 1985. From 1989 to 1993, Whitson worked as a
> research biochemist in the Biomedical Operations and Research Branch
> at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. For the next several
> years, she held a number of senior positions within NASA until her
> selection as an astronaut in 1996.
> When Whitson returns home in April 2008, she will hold yet another
> distinction, that of having spent more time in space than any other
> For Whitson's biographical information, visit:
> For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
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