Marsha Ivins

Last updated

Marsha Sue Ivins
Marsha Ivins.jpg
Born (1951-04-15) April 15, 1951 (age 67)
Alma mater University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S. 1973
Occupation Engineer
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Time in space
55d 21h 48m
Selection 1984 NASA Group 10
Missions STS-32, STS-46, STS-62, STS-81, STS-98
Mission insignia
STS-32 patch.png Sts-46-patch.png Sts-62-patch.png Sts-81-patch.png Sts-98-patch.png

Marsha Sue Ivins (born April 15, 1951) is an American former astronaut and a veteran of five space shuttle missions.

Astronaut Person who commands, pilots, or serves as a crew member of a spacecraft

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. Although generally reserved for professional space travelers, the terms are sometimes applied to anyone who travels into space, including scientists, politicians, journalists, and tourists.



Ivins, born April 15, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Nether Providence High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania in 1969, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973. She is Jewish-American. [1] She went to work for NASA's Johnson Space Center, and worked mainly on orbiter displays and controls, before being assigned as a flight engineer in 1980 and co-pilot on NASA administrative aircraft. In 1984, Ivins was selected as an astronaut candidate.

Nether Providence High School was a four-year public high school in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, United States, serving Nether Providence Township and the boroughs of Rose Valley and Morton. The school merged with Swarthmore High School in 1983 to form Strath Haven High School, based at the old Nether Providence campus. Nether Providence High School was a part of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.

Wallingford, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Wallingford is an unincorporated community in Nether Providence Township, Delaware County in Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1687, it is named for Wallingford, England. In 2007, Wallingford was named by Money Magazine as the 9th best place to live in the United States; two other towns in the area made the top 15. Most locations in Nether Providence use Wallingford's zip code.

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.

She has flown aboard five space missions: STS-32 (1990), STS-46 (1992), STS-62 (1994), STS-81 (1997), and STS-98 (2001). [2] [3] Ivins retired from NASA on December 31, 2010.

STS-32 human spaceflight

STS-32 was the 33rd mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the ninth launch of Space Shuttle Columbia. Launched on 9 January 1990, it marked the first use of Launch Pad A at Kennedy Space Center's Complex 39 since 1986; it also marked the first use of Mobile Launcher Platform No. 3 (MLP-3) in the Space Shuttle program. STS-32 was, at the time, the longest shuttle mission yet conducted, with a duration of nearly 11 days. Before STS-32, the only mission of the same duration had been STS-9 in 1983. On 20 January 1990, STS-32 executed the third night landing of the shuttle program.

STS-46 human spaceflight

STS-46 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Space ShuttleAtlantis and was launched on 31 July 1992 at 9:56:48 am EDT.

STS-62 human spaceflight

STS-62 was a Space Shuttle program mission flown aboard Space ShuttleColumbia. The primary payloads were the USMP-02 microgravity experiments package and the OAST-2 engineering and technology payload, both in the orbiter's cargo bay. The two-week mission also featured a number of biomedical experiments focusing on the effects of long duration spaceflight. The landing was chronicled by the 1994 Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle program and served as the show's opening. A C.F. Martin backpacker guitar was also flown aboard Columbia during the mission.

Spaceflight experience

Marsha Ivins experiencing weightlessness during STS-98 Weightless hair.jpg
Marsha Ivins experiencing weightlessness during STS-98

STS-32 (January 9–20, 1990) launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on an eleven-day flight, during which crew members on board the Orbiter Columbia successfully deployed a Syncom satellite, and retrieved the 21,400-pound Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). Mission duration was 261 hours, 1 minute, and 38 seconds. Following 173 orbits of the Earth and 4.5 million miles, Columbia returned with a night landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Kennedy Space Center United States space launch site

The John F. Kennedy Space Center is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers. Since December 1968, Kennedy Space Center has been NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Launch operations for the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs were carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 and managed by KSC. Located on the east coast of Florida, KSC is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The management of the two entities work very closely together, share resources, and even own facilities on each other's property.

Satellite Human-made object put into an orbit

In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's Moon.

Long Duration Exposure Facility

NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility, or LDEF, was a school bus-sized cylindrical facility designed to provide long-term experimental data on the outer space environment and its effects on space systems, materials, operations and selected spores' survival. It was placed in low Earth orbit by Space ShuttleChallenger in April 1984. The original plan called for the LDEF to be retrieved in March 1985, but after a series of delays it was eventually returned to Earth by Columbia in January 1990.

STS-46 (July 31 – August 8, 1992) was an 8-day mission, during which crew members deployed the EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) satellite, and conducted the first Tethered Satellite System (TSS) test flight. Mission duration was 191 hours, 16 minutes, and 7 seconds. Space Shuttle Atlantis and her crew launched and landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, completing 126 orbits of the Earth in 3.35 million miles.

European Retrievable Carrier space observatory

The European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) was an unmanned 4.5-tonne satellite with 15 experiments. It was a European Space Agency (ESA) mission and the acronym was derived from Archimedes' bathtub revelation "Eureka!".

STS-62 (March 4–18, 1994) was a 14-day mission for the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP) 2 and Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) 2 payloads. These payloads studied the effects of microgravity on materials sciences and other space flight technologies. Other experiments on board included demonstration of advanced teleoperator tasks using the remote manipulator system, protein crystal growth, and dynamic behavior of space structures. Mission duration was 312 hours, 23 minutes, and 16 seconds. Space Shuttle Columbia launched and landed at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, completing 224 orbits in 5.82 million miles.

Protein biological molecule consisting of chains of amino acid residues

Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including catalysing metabolic reactions, DNA replication, responding to stimuli, providing structure to cells and organisms, and transporting molecules from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of their genes, and which usually results in protein folding into a specific three-dimensional structure that determines its activity.

STS-81 Atlantis (January 12–22, 1997) was a 10-day mission, the fifth to dock with Russia’s Space Station Mir, and the second to exchange U.S. astronauts. The mission also carried the Spacehab double module providing additional middeck locker space for secondary experiments. In five days of docked operations more than three tons of food, water, experiment equipment and samples were moved back and forth between the two spacecraft. Following 160 orbits of the Earth the STS-81 mission concluded with a landing on Kennedy Space Center’s Runway 33 ending a 3.9 million mile journey. Mission duration was 244 hours, 56 minutes.

STS-98 Atlantis (February 7–20, 2001) continued the task of building and enhancing the International Space Station by delivering the U.S. laboratory module Destiny. The Shuttle spent seven days docked to the station while Destiny was attached and three spacewalks were conducted to complete its assembly. The crew also relocated a docking port, and delivered supplies and equipment to the resident Expedition-1 crew. Space Shuttle Atlantis returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California traveling 5.3 million miles in 203 orbits. Mission duration was 12 days, 21 hours, 20 minutes.


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  1. Jewish Faith in America By Shelley M. Buxbaum, Sara E. Karesh, p.71
  2. "Astronaut Bio: Marsha S. Ivins (01/2011)".
  3. Becker, Joachim. "Astronaut Biography: Marsha Ivins".