NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today selected space veteran and NASA astronaut Dr. Shannon W. Lucid as the agency's next Chief Scientist.
The only woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by the President of the United States, Lucid currently supports Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions as spacecraft communicator.
Lucid will be responsible for ensuring the scientific merit of the agency's programs. She will report for duty as soon as she fills her responsibilities as Capcom for STS-109.
"Dr. Lucid brings impressive credentials in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry research to NASA Headquarters," said Administrator O'Keefe. "The Chief Scientist has a tremendous responsibility to develop and communicate the agency's science and research objectives to the outside world. What better selection than a NASA scientist and astronaut with extensive experience living and working in the harsh environment of space?"
She replaces Dr. Kathie Olsen, whom the President has announced his intention to nominate as the Associate Administrator for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President.
"Dr. Olsen has been a vital and valuable member of the senior management team since she was named Chief Scientist in May 1999," added Administrator O'Keefe. "She is highly motivated and her expertise will be missed. The Administration and OSTP are getting a top-notch researcher and scientist."
A veteran of five Space Shuttle flights, Lucid was among the first six women ever selected to become an astronaut and she currently holds the United States single mission flight endurance record as a result of her mission to the Russian space station Mir in 1996.
She was selected by NASA in 1978 and became an astronaut in August 1979. Lucid has flown as a mission specialist on STS-51G in 1985, STS-34 in 1989, STS-43 in 1991 and STS-58 in 1993. In 1996, she was flown to Mir during STS-76, where she served as an engineer and conducted numerous life science and physical science experiments during her stay in orbit.
When Lucid returned to Earth during STS-79, she had traveled more than 75 million miles and spent more than 188 days in orbit.
Additional information about Lucid is available on the Internet at:
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