KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — A physicist who had space pumping through her blood since she was a child is ready for her next mission to the International Space Station.
What You Need To Know
- She was just 4 years old when her passion for space ignited
- Her first time in space was in 2010 when she spent 161 days on the ISS
- Get more detailed information about the Crew-1 mission here
- Profile stories of each astronaut of the Crew-1 mission:
- Get more space coverage right here
Growing up in Houston you could say Dr. Shannon Walker was destined for space.
“I’m actually a child of the 60's and I was about 4 years old when we first landed on the moon and I had this memory of my parents taking me and my older sister out into the backyard and pointing to the moon and saying we’ve got people there," Walker told Spectrum News. "And ever since then I thought that was the best idea ever. So I always wanted to be an astronaut. And then science is just naturally something I liked in school, so it worked out well."
Her first job out of college was a robotics flight controller at Johnson Space Center.
Her passion for physics and science led to her to designing the robotics hardware for the International Space Station.
In 2010, she got to fly to the ISS for a 161-day stay in microgravity.
Ten years later she’s getting ready for her second mission to space on SpaceX’s second crewed journey to the ISS.
Walker — along with Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency — will kick off the first operational flight on SpaceX's Crew Dragon on Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center.
“That’s really what I wanted to do when I became an astronaut, is to spend large periods of time in space to accomplish the science and to further exploration,” said Walker. “So I think it’s going to be wonderful.”
Watching down from Earth will be Walker’s husband, fellow astronaut Andy Thomas.
“He’s excited for me,” said Walker.
Besides her love of science, she has a love of cooking. But opportunities to cook will be limited in space.
“I will certainly do what I can to make our meals as interesting as possible,” said Walker.
Walker was selected to be an astronaut in 2004.
Her first mission in 2010 was launched on a Soyuz rocket.