Suzanne Singleton, Crew Secretary
Checking and responding to the astronauts' fan mail and making their travel plans are all in a day's work for NASA crew secretary Suzanne Singleton.
"I do anything they need to help them with those tasks so they can focus on their training," Singleton said.
Image above: NASA crew secretary Suzanne Singleton poses with the crew of the STS-118 shuttle mission. Mission specialist Alvin Drew not pictured. Credit: Linus Guillory/JSC
NASA's crew secretaries are assigned to support NASA's astronaut corps. Singleton is a secretary to 14 astronauts, including the crew of the STS-118 space shuttle mission.
Singleton manages crewmembers' travel arrangements, schedules, and expense reports, and she screens their "fan mail." She said a typical day is "just trying to stay up with them."
"Whatever you're doing, whether it be filing or answering the phone, there's a purpose," Singleton said.
The Houston native has worked at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for six years, but has followed space news all her life.
"I have grown up with the space program, and I think I always knew I'd work here," she said. "When the opportunity opened up, I jumped on it."
Singleton said she enjoys what she does and looks forward to coming to work every day. "I like the entire job and what it entails," she said.
She's most excited about attending the launch of STS-118. The STS-118 crew is the first astronaut crew assigned to Singleton since she joined NASA. "One of many, I hope," she added.
Before she can enjoy the launch, however, Singleton must first manage the astronauts' list of guests for the event.
"This is going to be a busy one," Singleton said of the STS-118 launch, referring to the flight of the first Educator Astronaut, Barbara Morgan.
"These are not the things they need to worry about," Singleton said. "As a crew secretary, we can take the burden of those tasks off of them."
Singleton said she is impressed that the astronauts are so highly educated, yet act like everyday people. She encourages today's students to stay informed about what is going in the space industry.
"I do not have a degree … but that didn't stop me from being educated," Singleton said.
While Singleton is now busy preparing for the STS-118 launch, she looks forward to working with future missions and programs that may take humans to the moon and beyond. "I hope I am still here when we go to the moon again," she said.
NASA is committed to building strategic partnerships and linkages between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics formal and informal educators. The agency is engaging students, educators, families, the public and others to increase Americans' scientific and technological literacy.
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