Who is Kathryn D. Sullivan?

Sullivan was born on October 3, 1951 in Paterson, New Jersey. The day after her sixth birthday Sputnik was launched in 1957; she was almost a Sputnik baby. Her mother’s name was Barbara Sullivan and not a lot is known about her other than she is deceased. And as for her Father, Donald Sullivan he was an aerospace engineer for the Marquardt Corporation. He worked on several projects and when Sullivan got involved with the Shuttle Program, the corporations aim was in making reaction control system thrusters for the spacecraft. As a little kid she was intrigued by aircrafts, boats, and the concept of how things worked and what made it work rather than dolls as any other little girl was into. She followed up on all the stories revolving around NASA, space flight, John Glenn and Alan Shepard’s flights.

Why Kathryn D. Sullivan?

I picked Kathryn D. Sullivan because everyone has phases in life as when you were a little kid where you had a  different picked profession every day. I remember being that six year old that claimed was  going to be president one day, a doctor the next, and even an astronaut three days later. One time from being so indecisive I decided I was going to be a mass combination of  being a violinist ballerina astronaut. And I was going to dance and perform in space. As a little kid you dream big and for Sullivan her dreams came true as her persistence led to her being the first American woman in space…you never know where your dreams can take you.

Societies she was involved in:

Some of the societies in which Sullivan was involved in included Woods Hole Oceanographic institution,  The National Academy of
Sciences’ Committee: On Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Board of Directors for The Planetary Society.

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is known for being one of the “largest private non-profit oceanographic institutions in the world and is dedicated to research and  higher education at the frontiers of ocean science” (WHOI Institution).
  • The Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences for the National Academy of Sciences, “is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use
    for the general welfare” (NAS).
  • As head board of director for the Planetary Society, the operation goals is to conduct methods in which the public may interact
    and have active roles in space exploration. In the society they “develop innovative technologies like the first solar sail spacecraft, fund astronomers hunting for hazardous asteroids and planets orbiting other stars, they also support radio and optical searches for extraterrestrial life and they influence decision makers ensuring the future of space exploration” (Planetary Society).

Major Accomplishments:

  • National Air and
    Space Museum Trophy, Smithsonian Institution, 1985
  • Jaycees
    International Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award, 1987
  • NASA Exceptional
    Service Medal, 1988
  • NASA Space Flight
    Medal, 1984, 1990
  • AIAA Haley Apace
    Flight Award, 1991
  • AAS Space Flight
    Achievement Award, 1991
  • Lone Sailor
    Award, U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
  • “First Woman”
    Award, National First Ladies’ Library and Smithsonian Institution, 2000