Friday, September 17, 2010

At NASA JSC - Meet "Flat Peggy"

May I introduce "Flat Peggy". The original 3-D version, Astronaut Peggy Whitson, was busy and couldn't meet with me. Nevertheless, you should learn a little more about her too. Because she is one "wow" of a woman! During her very first flight to Space, she spent 184 days there! STS-111 (Endeavour) took her up to the ISS and STS-113 (Endeavour again) brought her back home on December 7, 2002. During her stay on the ISS she was named the first NASA Science Officer on the ISS. She conducted 21 investigations in human life sciences and microgravity sciences, some other tests, did a spacewalk, and helped with the assembly of the station. 

Five years later, Peggy boarded Soyuz TMA-11 and went right back to the ISS and spent another 192 days in Space, before returning, again on the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft. While on board the ISS, Peggy also conducted 5 spacewalks to help assembly the station. While there the Harmony node was connected, ESA's Columbus laboratory was added, JAXA's Kibo logistics module was delivered and Canadian's Dextre robot arrived. 

When not in Space, Peggy is the Chief of the Astronaut Office. This position is the most senior leadership positive for active astronauts at NASA and serves as the head of the NASA Astronaut Corps. In her function she is the principle advisor to the NASA Administrator on astronaut training and operations. Her Deputy is Chris Ferguson, who was just chosen to be the Commander of that possible very last Shuttle mission next year...

I heard and learned so many good things about Peggy; how efficiently she runs her station and that so many tasks got done on orbit ahead of schedule during her two expeditions. 

Who knows, maybe next week I can try to visit the Astronaut Office again. I would be honored to meet her in person.

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