Feature

Meet NASA's Future Explorer - Shannon Walker
11.11.04
What's it like to wake up one morning and realize that you've been invited to explore the Universe? The members of the 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class have had several months to contemplate that question. Join us in this series of video interviews with eight members of the class and share in their excitement as they become part of NASA's vision for space exploration.

The 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class

Image above: The 11-member 2004 class of astronauts and three Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts. Pictured are (first row, left to right), Bobby Satcher, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Chris Cassidy, Ricky Arnold, Randy Bresnik and Tom Marshburn; (second row) Akihiko Hoshide, Shannon Walker, Joe Acaba, Jim Dutton , Shane Kimbrough, Satoshi Furukawa, Jose Hernandez and Naoko Yamazaki.


Shannon Walker - Mission Specialist

Shannon Walker poses with a T-38 jet
Shannon worked at NASA's Johnson Space Center, managing a team of engineers that monitors the health of the International Space Station.

Image to right: Shannon Walker poses with a T-38 jet trainer aircraft at Ellington Field. Credit: NASA

She was born in Houston, raised in Houston, earned three university degrees in Houston, and this summer she began living out her dream -- where else, but Houston.

As an astronaut, Dr. Walker says she would like to fly to the International Space Station, and she is even hitching her star to the Vision for Space Exploration. "I would love to fly to the Moon or Mars," she says.

"I also want to encourage young people to think about what the future can be like if we work together to accomplish difficult goals, such as the exploration of space," she says.

An Interview with Astronaut Candidate Shannon Walker:

Shannon's whole family was excited when she was selected as a member of the 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class. Listen as she talks about her family's reaction.
+ View video
+ View text version

Shannon has been working with a team that solves problems on the International Space Station. She describes her role in this part of the interview.
+ View video
+ View text version

Shannon's father was a professor, and there was always an emphasis on school when she was growing up. She talks about how she enjoyed going to school and learning new things.
+ View video
+ View text version

Education is important to Shannon. She encourages students when faced with difficulty to not be afraid and to just get in there and do it!
+ View video
+ View text version

Shannon took the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Beijing when she was working in Russia. She talks about her experience in this part of the interview.
+ View video
+ View text version

She shares more of her travels and the people that she met as the interview continues.
+ View video
+ View text version

Shannon Walker during survival training
"Don't be afraid. It is hard, but don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to do the homework. It's fascinating to learn math, science and engineering, and just get in there and do it."
-- Shannon Walker


Image to right: Shannon Walker finishes a rapid simulation of ejection from an aircraft during water survival training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Credit: NASA

Full Interview
+ View video
+ View text version

Astronaut Candidate Shannon Walker
+ View biography