Astronaut Anna Fisher: The First Mom in Space (Photos)



Astronaut Anna Fisher joined NASA in 1978 and became the first mother to fly in space when she launched on her space shuttle mission. She retired from NASA in 2017.

Astronaut Anna Lee Fisher completed a year of training before being eligible to fly as a mission specialist on space shuttle flight crews. Anna Lee Fisher was the first mother to go into space.

Astronaut Anna Lee Fisher completed many different assignments once her training ended. She was crew representative for both support development and testing of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) and payload bay door contingency spacewalk procedures, the extra-small Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) and contingency in-orbit Thermal Protection System (TPS) repair hardware and procedures and more for pre-STS-1 through STS-4. She was also crew evaluator for verification and development testing for STS-2, 3 and 4.


Before joining the NASA program, Anna Lee Fisher earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1971 and 1976, respectively; received a Master of Science in Chemistry from UCLA, 1987. During STS-5, 6 and 7 she served as a physician in the recovery helicopter and helped create rescue procedures.

During STS-51A shuttle mission in November 1980, astronaut Anna Fisher flew the space shuttle Discovery's robotic arm to support the retrieval of two malfunctioning satellites, and the deployment of two new communications satellites.

Astronaut Anna Fisher launched into space on the space shuttle Discovery on Nov. 8, 2984 to become NASA's first mom in space. The mission was STS-51A and was crewed by Fisher, commander Frederick Hauck, pilot David Walker and mission specialists Dale Gardner and Joseph Allen. The mission deployed the Canadian satellite Telesat-H (Anik) and the U.S. defense communications satellite SYNCOM IV-I (LEASAT01). The astronauts also retrieved two malfunctioning satellites, PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI.

Astronaut Anna Fisher practices a Hubble Space Telescope servicing spacewalk underwater at the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama in May 1980.


The annual Holly Days Parade, the peninsula's largest lighted holiday parade, honored Anna Fisher, asking her to serve as Grand Marshal. After being chosen as an ASCAN in 1978 and completing her training, astronaut Anna Lee Fisher logged close to 200 hours in space and she served as chief of the Space Station Branch from 1996-2002 during the early construction days of the International Space Station.

The name of astronaut Anna Fisher, as well as those of her crewmates adorns the mission patch for STS-51A on Discovery. 



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