lori garver

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Nichelle Nichols (B. 1932)

Born in Robbins, Illinois, Nichols got her start on the stage in 1961 with Oscar Brown's Kicks and Co., a musical satire about Playboy magazine. Ironically, this drew the attention of Hugh Heffner who was so impressed with her, he booked her in his Chicago Playboy Club. While still in Chicago, she performed at the “Blue Angel”, and in New York, Nichols appeared at that city’s Blue Angel as a dancer and singer. She also toured with Duke Ellington and in addition to her acting and singing work, Nichols did some modelling. 

Out of all of her accomplishments, her biggest and arguably most important role was that of Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek. Through this role, Nichols was the first black woman on a major television series who did not play a servant; the prominent supporting role as a bridge officer was unprecedented. Her groundbreaking work on Star Trek not only inspired such actresses as Whoopie Goldberg (and, in turn, Lupita Nyong'o) to pursue their careers, but also inspired astronaut Mae Jemison who became the first African American woman in space.

After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency, which proved to be a success.[16] She began this work by making an affiliation between NASA and a company which she helped to run, Women in Motion.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Those recruited include Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, and United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. Recruits also included Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator, and Lori Garver, the current Deputy Administrator. (X)

Go Behind-the-Scenes at NASA

Are you active on social media? Want to go behind-the-scenes at NASA and meet our scientists, engineers, astronauts and managers? Want to see and feel a rocket launch in-person? Then you would love our NASA Social events!

A NASA Social is a program that provides opportunities for our social media followers (like you!) to learn and share information about our missions, people and programs. Formerly known as NASA Tweetups, these socials include both special in-person events and social media credentials for people who share the news in a significant way. To date, this program has brought thousands of people together for unique social media experiences of exploration and discovery.

NASA Socials range from two hours to two days in length and include a “meet and greet” session to allow participants to mingle with fellow socialites and the people behind our social media accounts. The participants are selected from those who register their interest for the event on the web.

Do you need to have a social media account to register for a NASA Social? 

Yes. The socials are designed for social media users who follow @NASA on a variety of platforms. The goal of NASA Socials is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via these platforms to meet in person and discuss one of their favorite subjects: NASA!

What types of events have we hosted in the past? Take a look:

Participants for a NASA Social surrounding the launch of a SpaceX cargo vehicle to the International Space Station met with former Deputy Administrator Lori Garver underneath the engines of the Saturn V rocket.

A participant at a NASA Social in Washington tweets as he listens to astronaut Joe Acaba answer questions about his time living aboard the International Space Station.

Juno launch Tweetup participants pose for a group photo with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden with the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the background at Kennedy Space Center.

And of course, some of our NASA Socials culminate with a rocket launch! You can experience one in-person. Apply to attend a once in a lifetime experience. 

For more information about NASA Social events, and to see upcoming opportunities, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/social

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

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Space Women in 2013

The earth has made yet another round around the sun. And what a year it was.

The highlight was of course the spaceflights of Karen Nyberg and Wang Yaping. Karen Nyberg launched on the 28th of may on her first long duration mission to the International Space Station. She spend a total amount of 166 days adn a little over 6 hours in space and landed safely back on earth on the 11th of November. She had the position of flight engineer and amongst other captured and docked the HTV-4 and the Cygnus capsule to the space station.

During this mission Wang Yaping also flew into space on the Shenzhou X mission to the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. The mission launched on 11th of June and lasted 14 days. She became the second Chinese woman to fly into space and the 57th women overall. On the 20th of June she gave a lesson from space which was followed by over 60 million Chinese students.

In 2013 NASA also introduced a new astronaut class, giving hope for the future. This was the first astronaut class which was composed of 50% males and 50% females.  Jessica Meir, Christine Hammock, Nicole Mann and Anne McLain were the lucky women to be picked. along with their male counterparts Tyler Hague, Victor Glover, Andrew Morgan and Josh Cassada they will be training to become the new astronauts of NASA.

NASA was not the only one with plans to send people into space. Axe held a competition to send people into space on a Lynx suborbital spaceplane. Out of the 23 worldwide winners, 2 were female. Norwegian Tale Sundlisæter and Malaysian Pirada Techavijit have succeeded to secure their seats into space. Tale and Pirada are true space enthusiast, they both studied satellite space systems and are working in the space industry. On top of that Tale is the Norwegian national point of contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council.

As it goes with live, people have also passed away this year. Most notably astrophysicist Margherita Hack passed away on June 29th. She was the first women to head the Trieste Astronomical Observatory and a passionate science advocate. There was also the loss of Jerri Truhill, female test pilot and part of NASA’s Mercury 13 program. After Mercury 13 she spent her time flying around in a pink World war 2 fighter.  

A number of the women we have seen working in space have also changed jobs. Lori Garver, previously Deputy Administrator of NASA, started work as General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association in September. Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan was appointed Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator early in 2013. Canadian astronaut Julie Payette has become the Chief Operating Officer for the Montreal Science Centre. NASA Astronaut Pamela Melroy had worked for the FAA, but this year decided to join DARPA as Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office. Astronaut Susan Helms was nominated to become vice commander of the US Air Force Space Command, however she decided to retire, which caused the nomination to be withdrawn. 

As a last highlight of 2013 we should not forget that Sally Ride received the Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as the Space Foundations General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award posthumously.

Hopefully next year will be just as exciting. There are 2 women, Yelena Serova and Samantha Cristoforetti, scheduled for missions to the space station. And, if we’re lucky, Virgin Galactic or the Chinese will surprise us.

Happy 2014 to everyone, make it a good one!

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S/O to Lori Garver (former Deputy Admin of of NASA) and Dennis Wingo (founder of Orbital Recovery Corp, CEO of SkyCorp, and 22 year vet of the computer, academic, and space communities as an integral force for the use of commercial systems in space). 

Both of these influential individuals in the worldwide community endorse and support the #FightforSpace. 

Demand more from your space program.

Deputy administrator and the Science Guy

Bill Nye, known as the Science Guy, takes a photograph of himself with NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver at the Planetary Society’s 2012 Planetfest on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. Garver is visiting Pasadena, home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ahead of Curiosity’s landing on Mars, scheduled for 1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, 2012. Curiosity is designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support life.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls