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November 8

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Astronaut Catherine Coleman


QUOTE by Katharine Hepburn.

Capt. Catherine G. Coleman, Ph.D.

      Wasn't it sweeeeet -
      According to 1995 news reports, astronaut Catherine Coleman shook a bag containing candy to show that everything weighs the same in space in a televised science hookup from the orbiting Columbia spacecraft to earth-bound students - while other astronauts such as Al Sacco could concentrate on crystals and "hard" science. The news media also reported Coleman fielded kitchen/cooking questions about what happens re domesticity in space.
      Dr./Captain Coleman's official NASA biography that same year read as follows:

Catherine G. "Cady" Coleman, Ph.D. (Captain, USAF); NASA Astronaut; Born December 14, 1960, in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown hair; brown eyes; 5 feet 4 inches; 115 pounds.
      EDUCATION: received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1991.
      Single, she enjoys flying, scuba diving, sports, music. As an undergraduate she competed in intercollegiate athletics on MIT's crew team. Dr. Coleman was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force in 1983 and began graduate work at the University of Massachusetts. Her research focused on polymer synthesis, using the olefin metathesis reaction and polymer surface modification. In 1988 Coleman entered active duty and was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. As a research chemist at the Materials Directorate of the Wright Laboratory, she synthesized model compounds to investigate the use of organic polymers for third-order nonlinear optical applications such as advanced computers and data storage. Coleman also acted as a surface analysis consultant for the Long Duration Exposure Facility (launched from STS 41-C in 1984 and retrieved during STS-32 in 1990). In addition to assigned duties, Coleman was a volunteer test subject for the centrifuge program at the Crew Systems Directorate of the Armstrong Aeromedical Laboratory. She set several endurance and tolerance records during her participation in physiological and new equipment studies.
      NASA EXPERIENCE: Coleman was selected by NASA in March 1992 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. Initially assigned to the Astronaut Office Mission Support Branch and detailed to flight software verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, Coleman presently serves as a special assistant to the Center Director, Johnson Space Center.
      CURRENT ASSIGNMENT: Coleman is assigned as a mission specialist on STS-73, the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission (USML-2), aboard Space Shuttle Columbia now in orbit. The 16-day mission is focusing on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, the physics of fluids and many other scientific experiments to be housed in the pressurized Spacelab module.

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B. 11-08-1897, Dorothy Day, helped found the Catholic Worker movement and organized houses for the handicapped and hungry. Her conversion from free-love and socialism to Roman Catholic activist is described in From Union Square to Rome (1938). During the Viet Nam conflict she supported and aided those who refused military service.

B. 11-08-1900, Margaret Mitchell, winner of 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Gone with the Wind, her only novel. Sold rights to Gone With the Wind to David Selznick for $50,000. The film was one of the highest money grossers of all time until the price of movie tickets skyrocketed.

B. 11-08-1907, Katherine Hepburn, actor. Academy Awards for Morning Glory (1932), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). Nominated eight more times for her work in such movies as The Philadelphia Story (1940), and The African Queen (1951). A national treasure.

Event: 11-08-1910: a constitutional amendment to extend suffrage to women is passed in the State of Washington.

B. 11-08-1933, Esther Rolle, actor.

Event: 11-08-1938, Crystal Bird Fauset elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the first U.S. black woman legislator.

B. 11-08-1949, Bonnie Raitt, singer, songwriter. Grammy award winner. Her mother was a pianist.

Event 11-08-1967, President Lyndon Johnson signed a new law which gave women in the military equal promotion and retirement and removed the two percent restriction on the number of women allowed into the military.

Event 11-08-1984: physician Dr. Anna L. Fisher is the third American woman astronaut in space and the first mother.

Event 11-08-1990, the Gender Gap at the voting booth succeeded in electing Ann Richards as Texas Governor (with 61% of the women's vote) and Barbara Roberts as Oregon Governor with 30% more of the women's vote than her opponent got. Sharon Pratt Dixon was elected the first black woman to head the Washington, D.C. government. Joan Finney who opposed abortion was elected governor of Kansas. Of 85 women who ran for statewide offices, 57 won... all with significant Gender Gap margins...

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      "Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn't interest you, don't do it. It didn't interest me, so I didn't do it. Anyway, I would have made a terrible parent. The first time my child didn't do what I wanted, I'd kill him."
-- Katharine Hepburn in a People magazine interview.

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