An astronaut's inspiring and winding road to space | Joan Higginbotham | TEDxBermuda
While working for NASA as an electrical engineer (aka rocket scientist) preparing 53 shuttles for successful launches she applied to be an astronaut. In December of 2006, Mrs. Higginbotham became the 3rd of only 3 African American women to fly into space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. Her journey is inspirational for anyone who dreams of being an astronaut. Mrs. Higginbotham was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and is the youngest of four children. She began working for NASA as an electrical engineer (aka rocket scientist) preparing shuttles for launch. After successfully launching 53 shuttles and completing a master’s degree in Engineering Management, Mrs. Higginbotham applied to be an astronaut. When her first attempt to become an astronaut was not successful, she decided to complete a second master’s degree in Space Systems.
She was then accepted into the 1996 class of astronauts candidates. In December of 2006, she became the 3rd of only 3 African American women to fly into space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery where her primary task was to operate the Canadian robotic arm to continue building the International Space Station. In total, she spent nearly 13 days (a total of 308 hours) in space. Mrs. Higginbotham retired from NASA after a 20-year distinguished career and relocated to Charlotte where she works for Collins Aerospace. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
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Retired NASA Astronaut, Rocket Scientist, Electrical Engineer, & Third African American Woman in Space
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