Touchdown for NASA NOLSies on Shuttle Discovery

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin

Apr 20, 2010

This morning, the Space Shuttle Discovery touched down at the Kennedy Space Center, with all on board safe, sound, and back at home. The crew (pictured above) includes Commander Alan (Dex) Poindexter, Pilot Jim Dutton, and Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Clayton Anderson, and Naoko Yamazaki.

Jim, Dorothy, and Naoko took the NOLS Professional Training NASA Leadership Expedition course in 2005. Dex graduated in 2006. For Clayton, one NOLS course wasn't enough: he took the NASA Leadership Expedition course in 2001, and then took the NASA Winter Leadership Expedition course in 2006. Stephanie is a close friend of NOLS, having participated in an expedition commemorating the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Columbia, who were 2001 NOLS grads.

ShuttleWith Discovery back on the ground, NASA's shuttle program is left with only three more flights. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Discovery's expedition set the record for the most female astronauts - and female NOLSies - in space. Dorothy, Stephanie, and Naoko joined Tracy Caldwell Dyson, a 2001 NOLS grad who was already in orbit.

Congratulations to the entire Discovery crew, and a special shout out to the ladies on board!


Written By

Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin

Aparna is a NOLS instructor and has been the PR and Marketing Intern, PR specialist, and the Diversity & Inclusion manager at NOLS. She is a founding partner of The Avarna Group (

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