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Wendy Lawrence      

Retired U.S. Navy Captain & Former NASA Astronaut; First Female Graduate of the United States Naval Academy to Fly into Space

Wendy Lawrence (Captain, US Navy, Retired) is an engineer, pilot (helicopter), and a former NASA Astronaut. She flew on four space shuttle missions: STS-67, STS-86, STS-91 and STS-114.

After graduation from the US Naval Academy with a Masters of Science degree in Ocean Engineering, Lawrence became a Naval Aviator and logged more than 1,500 hours of flight time in six different types of helicopters while making more than 800 shipboard landings. Lawrence also earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She was selected by NASA for astronaut training in 1992.

Lawrence’s first spaceflight was STS-67 aboard Discovery, which marked the end of the Shuttle/Mir program that was a precursor to the International Space Station. This mission was the second flight of the ASTRO observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes used to conduct astronomical observations in the ultraviolet spectral regions. STS-86 on Atlantis was the seventh shuttle mission to the Mir space station. Lawrence served as a Mission Specialist on this flight due to her extensive experience with Mir systems and crew transfer logistics. STS-91 was the final Shuttle/Mir docking mission. Lawrence served as Mission Specialist for this flight aboard Discovery. This flight marked the end of the Phase 1 program that was a precursor to the International Space Station.

Lawrence made her final spaceflight aboard Discovery for STS-114. This was the first Return to Flight mission after the Columbia disaster. This flight’s primary mission was to test and evaluate new Space Shuttle flight safety techniques but it also delivered supplies to ISS and carried Raffaello a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM). Lawrence was in charge of the supply transfer and also an operator for the station robotic arm on this flight.

When not flying in space, Lawrence held various jobs within NASA and the Astronaut office to include flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Lab (SAIL), Director of Operations Russia in Star City, Russia at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) and Astronaut Office representative for ISS crew training and support. Lawrence also trained as a crewmember for a Mir mission. Lawrence is passionate about students and inspiring the next generation to “Dare to Dream” especially in fields of STEM.

Speech Topics

Speaking Points

  • Living and Working in Space
  • Dare to Dream!
  • Importance of STEM
  • Lessons Learned from the Columbia Accident
  • Team-building and Mission Accomplishment

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