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July 12, 2000

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(281/483-5111)

Release: J00-42

International Astronauts Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Space Program

Canadian Astronauts Dafydd (Dave) Rhys Williams, and Julie Payette, international members of NASA’s astronaut corps, were honored last month for their contributions to both the American and Canadian space programs.

The Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of women pilots honored the two Canadian Space Agency astronauts for outstanding contributions in promoting aviation and aerospace throughout the world. The award was presented in June in Atchison, Kansas – the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.

Williams’ and Payette’s names will now appear in the Forest of Friendship. The Forest is home to trees representing all 50 states and 35 countries from around the world, and includes flags and plaques honoring the men and women who have contributed significantly to aviation and aerospace.

Williams joined NASA as a member of the 1995 class of astronauts, reporting to the Johnson Space Center in March of that year. In 1998, he was a crewmember on the STS-90 Neurolab mission focusing on the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system and recognizing “the decade of the brain.” The STS-90 mission completed 256 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6.3 million miles. He currently leads JSC’s Space & Life Sciences Directorate which encompasses medical requirements and benefits of spaceflight as well as planetary exploration missions.

Payette is a member of the 1996 astronaut class. She was a member of the STS-96 crew that carried four tons of logistics and supplies to the International Space Station in 1999 to prepare it for the first Expedition crew, scheduled to arrive later this year. She is currently a member of the Crew Test Support Team providing crew insight and support to the development and testing of space station hardware and software in Russia.

For additional information on Williams, Payette, or any NASA astronaut, visit the astronaut biography home page at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/

 

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