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History-Making Astronaut

September-October 2006

Stephanie Wilson ’88 lived out nearly every child’s fantasy when she soared aloft aboard NASA’s space shuttle Discovery in early July, making history as only the second African-American woman to venture into space. The Pittsfield, Massachusetts, native did graduate work at the University of Texas and was selected for NASA’s astronaut class of 1996; she then worked as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for orbiting space crews. During her recent 13-day, five-million-mile journey, the former engineering-science concentrator served as a mission specialist and was jointly in charge of operating the shuttle’s robotic arm to transfer cargo to and from the International Space Station.

Stephanie Wilson
Courtesy of NASA