Texas Exes News

Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson (pictured below, far left) will make her first trip to space on July 1 with the crew of STS-121. Wilson graduated from UT with a master’s in aerospace engineering in 1992 and was a recipient of the Outstanding Young Texas Ex award in 2005. The crew of space shuttle Discovery will continue to test new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of space shuttles during the STS-121 mission to the International Space Station. It also will perform maintenance on the space station and deliver more supplies and cargo for future station expansion.

members of the space crew in front of photo of shuttle

Of the cargo they will bring with them, Wilson said, “We are bringing to the space station crew a variety of experiments. We have a -80° laboratory freezer that they will use to cool samples; we have a, a European cultivation module that they will use for their experiments; we are pre-positioning an oxygen generation system that will be used for future crews, and we are bringing them a new, Common Cabin Air Assembly for a heat exchanger in the laboratory. The old one has failed and they’ll need to replace that. We have food and clothing for them as well, and hopefully a surprise or two will be packed in there.”

Selected by NASA in April 1996, Wilson reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Wilson has been a Mission Control prime communicator with on-orbit crews and has had technical responsibilities related to space shuttle main engines, external tank and solid rocket boosters. Prior to NASA, she worked with Martin Marietta Astronautics Group and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

To read Stephanie Wilson’s pre-flight interview, click here.