Anna Lee Fisher

Astronaut

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Anna Lee Fisher; born August 24, 1949 in New York City and grew up in San Pedro, California, which she con­sid­ers her hometown.

Anna Fsher is an American chemist, emer­gency doc­tor, and for­mer NASA astro­naut. Mother of two chil­dren, in 1984 she became the first moth­er in space. During her NASA career, she was involved in three major pro­grams: the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and the Orion spacecraft.

Anna Fisher was select­ed as an astro­naut can­di­date in January 1978. In August 1979, she com­plet­ed her train­ing and eval­u­a­tion peri­od, becom­ing eli­gi­ble for assign­ment as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle crews.

As one of the first female astro­nauts, she helped design a space­suit tai­lored to the female anatomy.

After the year-long basic train­ing pro­gram, Fisher’s first NASA mis­sions (pre-STS‑1 through STS4) includ­ed the following:

• Development and test­ing of the Canadarm Remote Manipulator (RMS) – com­mon­ly referred to as the shut­tle’s robot­ic arm”;

• Contribute to the design of female-friend­ly space­suits (known as extra-small extrave­hic­u­lar mobil­i­ty units, or EMUs);

• Development and test­ing of emer­gency space­walk pro­ce­dures for car­go doors and emer­gency repair procedures;

• Flight Software Verification at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) – in this capac­i­ty she reviewed require­ments and test pro­ce­dures for ascent, in-orbit and RMS soft­ware ver­i­fi­ca­tion – and served as a crew eval­u­a­tor for ver­i­fi­ca­tion and devel­op­ment test­ing for STS2, STS3, and STS4.

• She final­ly flew in late 1984 on STS-51‑A aboard Discovery. The mis­sion deployed two satel­lites and recov­ered two oth­ers that had been placed in inap­pro­pri­ate orbits due to mal­func­tion­ing of their starter motors (see mis­sion STS-41‑B).

She was assigned as a mis­sion spe­cial­ist on STS-61‑H before the Space Shuttle Challenger explod­ed. Following the acci­dent, she worked as an assis­tant to the General Directorate of the Astronaut Office.

Upon her return to the Astronaut Office, she was assigned to the Operations Planning Branch to work on train­ing pro­ce­dures and issues in sup­port of the International Space Station. She served as Chief of the Operations Planning Branch from June 1997 to June 1998. Following a reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the Astronaut Office, she was appoint­ed Space Station Branch Operations/​Training Assistant from June 1998 to June 1999. She then served as Chief of the Space Station Branch of the Astronaut Office with respon­si­bil­i­ty for over­see­ing 40 – 50 astro­nauts and sup­port engineers.

On November 8, 1984, she made a sin­gle flight as a mis­sion spe­cial­ist, for the Discovery flight STS-51‑A.