Wednesday 4 March 2020


Handprints on Hubble

Kathryn D. Sullivan, Astronaut and former US Under Secretary of Commerce

In her new memoir, the first American woman to walk in space recounts her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe. It has, among many other achievements, revealed thousands of galaxies in what seemed to be empty patches of sky; transformed our knowledge of black holes; found dwarf planets with moons orbiting other stars; and measured precisely how fast the universe is expanding.

Along the way, Sullivan chronicles her early life as a “Sputnik Baby,” her path to NASA through oceanography, and her initiation into the space program as one of “thirty-five new guys.” (She was also one of the first six women to join NASA’s storied astronaut corps.)

Kathryn D. Sullivan

Kathy is a NASA astronaut (retired), former Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and an inductee in the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

She was the first American woman to walk in space on October 11, 1984.

Kathryn describes in vivid detail what liftoff feels like inside a spacecraft: it's like “being in an earthquake and a fighter jet at the same time”.