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The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has named Kathy Sullivan as the 2017 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History. Sullivan has served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Administrator since March 2014 and has a long career as a distinguished scientist, astronaut and oceanographer. She will begin her fellowship March 1 and will focus her research on the Hubble Space Telescope.
While in residence at the museum, Sullivan will research and write a book on the development of satellite servicing as a philosophy and practice, with attention to the creation of design features, tools, procedures, training, tests and evaluation. As a direct participant in that early history, she has a unique perspective on the “genesis” story of astronauts’ servicing the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.
“Few individuals can match Sullivan’s illustrious career as a scholar, scientist and explorer,” said Valerie Neal, chair of the space history department at the museum. “We welcome her to the museum and look forward to learning from her work this year.”
Sullivan began her career as one of the first women selected into the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and was the first American female astronaut to walk in space. During her 15-year NASA career, she flew on three space shuttle missions, notably the one that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. The museum has in its collection the extravehicular activity gloves worn by Sullivan, one of her flight-suit name tags and the Society of Women Geographers pennant that she took on the STS-41G mission to honor her profession.
“I'm excited to join the Smithsonian team and delve into this important but untold aspect of Hubble Space Telescope history,” said Sullivan.
The Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History is a competitive 12-month fellowship open to senior scholars with distinguished records of publication who are at work on, or anticipate being at work on, books in aerospace history. For more information about the fellowship program, visit the museum’s website at airandspace.si.edu.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Attendance at both buildings combined was 9 million in 2016, making it the most-visited museum in America. Both buildings are open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25). The museum’s mobile app, GO FLIGHT, allows visitors to connect with the collection and its stories beyond the museum’s walls.
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