The second black woman to go into space.
Selected by NASA as an Astronaut Candidate in April 1996, Wilson reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, she is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. She was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Space Station Operations Branch to work with Space Station payload displays and procedures. She then served in the Astronaut Office CAPCOM Branch, working in Mission Control as a prime communicator with on-orbit crews. Following her work in Mission Control, Wilson was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch involving the Space Shuttle Main Engines, External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters.
Wilson has flown on three shuttle missions. On STS-121, Wilson flew aboard as a mission specialist. She also flew on the STS-120 mission that delivered the Harmony connecting module to the International Space Station. In April 2010, Wilson flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-131.
Awards and honors
- NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2009, 2011)
- NASA Space Flight Medal (2006, 2007, 2010)
- Honorary Doctorate of Science from Williams College (2011)
- Harvard College Women’s Professional Achievement Award (2008)
- Harvard Foundation Scientist of the Year Award (2008)
- Young Outstanding Texas Exes Award (2005)
Stephanie flew on her first mission in space on board the Space Shuttle mission STS-121, and is the second African American woman to go into space, after Mae Jemison. She is a veteran of three space flights who has logged more than 42 days in space (including most recently in 2010 on the shuttle Discovery).
In this talk she details her journey to Nasa, her missions into space & briefly discusses the future of NASA.
Wilson worked for two years for the former Martin Marietta Astronautics Group in Denver, Colorado. As a Loads and Dynamics engineer for the Titan IV rocket, Wilson was responsible for performing coupled loads analyses for the launch vehicle and payloads during flight events. Wilson left Martin Marietta in 1990 to attend graduate school at the University of Texas. Her research focused on the control and modeling of large, flexible space structures.
–National Air and Space Museum – Smithsonian
Following the completion of her graduate work, Wilson began working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in 1992. As a member of the Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem for the Galileo spacecraft, Wilson was responsible for assessing attitude controller performance, science platform pointing accuracy, antenna pointing accuracy and spin rate accuracy. She worked in the areas of sequence development and testing as well. While at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Wilson also supported the Interferometery Technology Program as a member of the Integrated Modeling Team, which was responsible for finite element modeling, controller design, and software development.
Stephanie Wilson and Michael Fossum showing support for their respective Universities.