Sharon Caples McDougle joined the US Air Force in 1982, where she specialized in working with pressure suits for the SR-71 and U-2 missions. She fitted suits for individual pilots and suited them up for training flights and missions. In 1990 she transferred her skills to NASA where she was the first Black woman to serve as a spacesuit technician, crew chief, and manager of the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment Processing department. She suited up Mae Jemison, and led the first all-women team of spacesuit technicians in support of Space Shuttle mission STS-78.

In 2021 she self-published Suit Up for Launch with Shay!, a children's book that answers important questions about spacesuits. Join curator Dr. Emily Margolis as she hosts Sharon Caples McDougle in our latest live chat from the National Air and Space Museum.

Attend in person at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center or tune in online on YouTube

Military aviation Human spaceflight Space Shuttle program People Women
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