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Highly Respected Astronaut Mary Cleave Goes West

76-Year-Old Veteran of NASA Science Mission Directorate Memorialized

Mary Cleave, a 2-flight veteran of the shuttered shuttle program, passed away at 76. 

NASA took a moment to recognize her work and review her career, looking back to her start in Southampton, New York. Cleave obtained a BS degree in biological sciences, an MS degree in microbial ecology, and a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering before being selected for the astronaut program in May of 1980. Her assignments included flight software for the Shuttle Program's avionics, spacecraft communicator for 5 shuttle flights, malfunctions procedures drafter and crew equipment designer.

She was later included in a mission after 5 years with the program, heading up aboard STS-61B with Atlantis. While there, she completed 12 hours of spacewalk time across 2 EVA missions, while overseeing scientific projects aboard the shuttle.

“I’m sad we’ve lost trail blazer Dr. Mary Cleave, shuttle astronaut, veteran of two spaceflights, and first woman to lead the Science Mission Directorate as associate administrator,” said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana. “Mary was a force of nature with a passion for science, exploration, and caring for our home planet. She will be missed.”

FMI: www.nasa.gov 

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