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Dr. Cathleen Lewis – NESC Academy Biography

Cathleen Lewis

Dr. Cathleen Lewis is curator of International Space Programs and Spacesuits at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM), specializing in Soviet and Russian programs. Lewis has completed both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies at Yale University. She completed her dissertation for her Ph.D. in history, “The Red Stuff: A History of the Public and Material Culture of Early Human Spaceflight in the USSR, 1959-1968,” at George Washington University in 2008.

As of March 2015, her current research is on the history of the public and popular culture of Russian fascination with the idea of human spaceflight in the Soviet Union. She has written about the artifacts in the Smithsonian’s Soviet and Russian collection and has published articles comparing the Soviet and American approaches to exhibiting spaceflight during the Space Race and the history of Soviet film portrayals of spaceflight around the time of Yuri Gagarin’s historic first flight. She is also working on a history of the development of American and Russian spacesuit gloves.