PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: James Wilson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 15, 1996
GALILEO PROJECT ENGINEER SELECTED FOR ASTRONAUT TRAINING
Stephanie D. Wilson, an attitude-control engineer on the
Galileo flight team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been
named to NASA's astronaut candidate class of 1996.
Wilson will join 24 other mission specialists and 10 pilot
candidates in August at the Johnson Space Center in Houston,
Texas, for a year's training and evaluation before assignment to
the NASA Astronaut Office and eventual flight duty.
"I am very excited and honored to have been selected from so
many qualified candidates," she said. "This is a dream come true
for me. I believe the experience I have gained here at JPL,
working with a spacecraft exploring the solar system, has best
prepared me for the astronaut program."
Wilson is the first woman and first African American at JPL
to be selected for mission specialist training. A member of the
Galileo orbiter engineering team, she works with a group of
nearly 100 engineers who monitor and study the performance of
every element of the spacecraft and recommend operational and
software changes when needed.
Wilson concentrates her work on the attitude and
articulation control system, which controls Galileo's orientation
and points the spacecraft's scientific instruments. As a part of
that activity, she analyzes the behavior of the spinning
spacecraft and leads the analysis team. She also leads the uplink
team responsible for developing and testing Galileo spacecraft
Born in Boston and raised in Pittsfield, Mass., Wilson
currently resides in Los Angeles.
Before joining JPL in 1992, she earned a bachelor of science
degree from Harvard University and worked as a loads and dynamics
engineer for the Titan IV program at the former Martin Marietta
Astronautics Group. She later earned a master of science degree
in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas.
Wilson is a member of JPL's Advisory Council for Women and
several outside professional organizations, including the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Aeronautics and the Society
for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering. She has
also served as a volunteer tutor in math and science for
underprivileged youth in both Pasadena and Los Angeles.
"Stephanie will be a real asset to the astronaut corps just
as she has been to the Galileo flight team," said Galileo Mission
Director Neal Ausman. "We wish her well and hope she has many
challenging tours as a Galileo astronaut aboard the Shuttle and
Wilson becomes the fourth mission specialist candidate from
JPL to be selected for the program. Previous candidates are: G.
David Low, a former member of the Galileo project who flew on
three Space Shuttle missions, STS-32 in 1990, STS-43 in 1991 and
STS-57 in 1993; Jay Apt, who flew on a spaceborne imaging radar
(SIR-C/X-SAR) mission, STS-59, in April 1994; and Dr. Andrew
Thomas, who will be making his first flight aboard Space Shuttle
Endeavour on May 19, 1996.