Nicole Stott is an astronaut of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She served as a Flight Engineer on ISS Expedition 20 and Expedition 21 and was a Mission Specialist on STS-128 and STS-133.
Nicole Marie Passonno Stott, an American engineer, was born in Albany, New York on November 19, 1962 and resides in St. Petersburg, Florida. She attended St. Petersburg College, where she studied aviation administration, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1987, and received her Master of Engineering Management degree from the University of Central Florida in 1992. Nicole Stott began her career in 1987 as a structural design engineer at Pratt & Whitney Government Engines in West Palm Beach, Florida.
As a NASA astronaut, she served as a Flight Engineer on ISS Expedition 20 and Expedition 21 and was a Mission Specialist on STS-128 and STS-133. After 27 years of working at NASA, the space agency announced her retirement effective June 1, 2015.
In 1988, Stott joined NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida as an Operations Engineer in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF). In 1998, she joined the team at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, as a member of NASA’s Flight Operations Division, where she served as a Flight Simulation Engineer (FSE) on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA).
Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in July 2000, Stott reported for astronaut candidate training in August 2000. Stott was previously assigned to Expedition 20 and Expedition 21. She was launched to the International Space Station with the STS-128 crew, participating in that mission’s first spacewalk, and returned on STS-129, becoming the last Expedition crew-member to return to Earth via the space shuttle. Stott made her second spaceflight on STS-133, the third to last (antepenultimate) flight of the space shuttle.
On Oct. 21, 2009, Stott and her Expedition 21 crewmate Jeff Williams participated in the first NASA Tweetup from the station with members of the public gathered at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This involved the first live Twitter connection for the astronauts. Previously, astronauts on board the Space Shuttle or ISS had sent the messages they desired to send as tweets down to Mission Control which then posted them via the Internet to Twitter.