Aviation for Women

JAN-FEB 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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24 AviationforWomen J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 The E e of the Artistic Astronaut and Engineer B Y C A R O L E S H I F R I N Although Nicole Stott's mother always said she was the "artsy-craftsy" one in the family, the future astronaut and aeronautical engineer never expected a later career to be in art, specifically blending the science gleaned from her 27 years in the space program with art. Retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion (NASA) in mid-2015, Nicole, WAI 36812, has become a full- time artist and advocate for science, technology, engineering, math, and art education. Dubbed "The Artistic Astronaut," Nicole was the first astronaut to paint in space and continues to share what she saw during her space flights in her art. Her space flight experience included 91 days as a flight engi- neer on the International Space Station in 2009, during which she performed a nearly seven-hour space walk. During that mission, Nicole also participated in the first track-and-capture of a Japanese cargo vehicle, conducted a wide variety of science and research ac- tivities, and performed maintenance of the space station systems. After tasks were completed, she returned on the space shuttle Atlantis, becoming the last expedition crewmember to return to Earth on a space shuttle. In 2011, Nicole returned to space as a mission specialist on what was the final mission for space shuttle Discovery. During the 13- day flight, the Discovery crew delivered the Permanent Multipur- pose Module and the fourth Express Logistics Carrier, including critical spare parts and supplies, to the International Space Sta- tion. She also flew the space station robotic arm, along with astro- naut Michael Barratt, for the installation of those systems, com- pleting assembly of the U.S. portion of the station. In preparation for these space missions, Nicole, as other astro- nauts, completed a Russian language immersion class in Moscow and space station systems training at each of the international partner training sites in Star City, Russia; Tsukuba, Japan; Co- logne, Germany; and Montreal, Canada. Before these missions, she was a crewmember on the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 9) mission, where she lived and worked with a six-person crew on the longest duration NEEMO mission to date. The crew spent 18 days on the Aquarius undersea research habitat which Nicole says served as the best preparation overall for what it was like to live and work in space. The crew on board tested advanced space suit design con- cepts, robotic devices for surface-based exploration, construc- tion and communication techniques, and advanced tele-medicine PHOTOS COURTESY OF NASA

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