Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Anna Fisher, American Astronaut

Anna Fisher, American Astronaut


[ Music ] My name is Anna Lee Fisher, and I’m a mission
specialist astronaut. What was I like growing up? I was a nerd. [laughs] I loved
science and math. I loved to read. I was very shy, very quiet. My interests in space
started when we were listening to Al Shepard’s suborbital
flight. We were outside standing
around our PE teacher with her little transistor
radio. I went to UCLA. I started out as a math major. I switched to chemistry. I graduated with
my BS in chemistry. I went to graduate school
for a year and wound up getting my master’s,
although at the time, I was on the PhD program. And then I went to medical
school at UCLA and wound up going into emergency
medicine. I found out about the NASA
selecting mission specialists for the space shuttle
program quite serendipitously, and I can still remember my
husband paging me and saying, “Anna, we have a
month to apply.” So it happened pretty quickly
from the time you apply to when I interviewed was
only a couple of weeks. But then when the phone call
came, it was so surreal because, you know, [laughs]
you’re thinking, wow, I’m getting this call and
I’m actually being selected as an astronaut. I think my friends
were surprised because I’d never really
told anyone I wanted to be an astronaut. And so when they found out
I applied and got accepted, you know, they remembered
me as the shy nerd person, [laughs] so I think they
were a little surprised, but everybody was happy. Everyone was so supportive. I knew that I belonged there,
and I really feel strongly that certainly the six of us and
many of the women really stood on the shoulders of the
women that had gone before. I’ve described it before as
I felt like I caught a wave like a surfer right at the
right moment in history when the social attitudes were
changing and just happened to come along at the right time to where the doors
were opening for women. Well, once we were selected, the astronaut candidate
year was just, you know, learning what the
shuttle was all about, learning about orbital
mechanics, getting science briefings,
but it was kind of fun to be at the beginning and to try to be developing
all of these things. For example, one of the
things I was assigned to early on was they wanted one of
the smaller women to get in the space suits
and start seeing if we could do EVAs, spacewalks. I was just told to get in a suit
and start working in the tank with my colleagues, and we did
a lot of the development runs for the mini workstation
that we still fly today. The tethers — how they
fastened, and, could you do that without being
able to see them? We did all those early runs. [ Music ] Well, that was a
very interesting time because I was assigned to my flight two weeks before
I delivered my daughter, my oldest daughter. I remember I delivered
Kristin on a Friday, and I was at the Monday morning
eight o’clock meeting the following Monday. Now, I didn’t stay at work
all day long, but I wanted to make a statement that, you
know, yes, I have a child, but I’m committed to this
and I’m going to be here. So I was, kept coming at the
same time I had a new baby and training for my flight, so it was quite the
challenging time, but I was absolutely blessed
with the lady who took care of Kristin, and it was teamwork. And without her, I never
could’ve done what I did because I knew that
Kristin was 100% safe and was getting all
the love and care. And so it worked out. You know, walking out to launch,
and I remember I’m walking out and I’m looking to see Kristin. And then once I saw
Kristin, that was it. You know, I was good to go. [laughs] I was the flight
engineer, so I trained with the commander and pilot. I had three things
I was watching — airspeed, altitude, engine. Airspeed, altitude, engines. I just wanted those
eight and a half minutes to be over successfully. [ Music ] If I could’ve picked
a flight to fly on, that would certainly
have been one of the ones I would’ve picked. It was so exciting because
we launched two satellites on day two and day three. [ Music ] We were instrumental in
helping design the concept for how we got those
satellites because they were, a huge 376 satellite has solar
arrays all the way around. It’s a cylindrical satellite. And so there’s very few areas
where you can actually touch it to hold it and figure out
how you’re going to hook it into the shuttle payload
bay to bring it back. So we go to be a part
of the design of it. We figured out the procedures
together with our trainers and with our flight controllers. So that was from
February to November. That’s a pretty short time
to come up with all this and design the hardware,
build the hardware, the procedures, the training. And then I was the arm operator for retrieving the two
satellites and I was the lead for deploying one
of the satellites. So it was a really busy
flight, but just so much fun. [ Music ] Oh, I think the future for
NASA is really exciting. You know, I thought that
when I came at the beginning of the shuttle program, but
now we have the Commercial Crew Program under the
Orion spacecraft to go beyond low Earth
orbit and just figuring out how these different
spacecrafts are going to work, and the suits that you’re going
to fly in, and the procedures. I just think it’s just
going to be so exciting to have these multiple vehicles, multiple opportunities
to go into space. And then slowly, as the general
population gets a chance to go into space, then maybe they’ll
understand why it’s just so amazing, and be
able to see our planet from the vantage point that
we have been able to see, and hopefully realize that
there’s one little planet that we have in this
vast blackness of space and that we really need to take
care of it and of each other. So I think it’s a really
exciting time and I’m jealous. [laughs] Have to hand it over to
the new people that are waiting in line, and I’ll be
cheering from the sidelines. [ Music ]

20 comments on “Anna Fisher, American Astronaut

  1. Thanks for helping to retrieving our (stranded) satellite (Palapa B). World first communication satellite to ever be launched, returned and launched again 😂. Amazing story

  2. A very humbling view of Earth from space. If only we took all the greedy fucks and tyrants in space to make them see that this is all we have, maybe….just maybe this world would be a lot different.

  3. enjoy your retirement Dr. Fisher you, the first 30, and the original six did a good job and getting our space program started following the Apollo days. you and Bill spend some time with each other enjoy your retirement you earned it both of you got the shuttle into space and did all those amazing missions plus raising your family on the sidelines you will always be America's space mom and you and Bill will always be the first space couple. enjoy your retirement Dr. Fisher you earned it.

  4. Fantastic and to just trying to imagine the technology involved with the whole scenario, it's mind boggling, I wish those space debunkers would wake up to the real world, look at the ROUND world. A world we are trying to destroy without trying. It's sad and that about covers it. Damn humanity.

  5. I thought that she was on the flight with Christa McCauliff,the shuttle tuat exploded.. I'm glad to see that she's OK.

  6. 2 years ago I drew the picture from here on the cover of Life Magazine in 1985. Oh my, oh my, I so love this beautiful picture. Words can't describe it! 🙊

  7. Just how stupid are Americans?…. She's so beautiful the lady says before me….. Watch the astronaut footage…. Is there a freaking beauty salon on board?…. Don't be so Naive…. It's all fake

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