Women have penetrated almost every field and some women made the lists of firsts long before the USA. This series will concentrate on female astronauts. The astronauts are Russian, American, British, French, Japanese, South Korean and Canadian. Julie Payette is our home-grown Montreal born astronaut.
The First Mother in Space
Anna Lee Tingle Fisher was born in 1949, in New York City, but was raised in San Pedro, California. In 1971, she received her bachelor of chemistry from UCLA. She then preceded to do some graduate work in chemistry in x-ray crystallographic studies of metallocarbonanes (determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal using an X-ray). However, Anna Lee Tingle Fisher changed focus for awhile and by 1976, she had her doctorate in medicine.
Anne worked as a doctor for a few years and the went back to her love of chemistry. She received a masters in chemistry at UCLA in 1987.
Fisher had been recruited by NASA as early as 1978 She went through the one-year basic training qualifying her as missions specialist.
Anne’s assignments included:
Developing and testing the “robotic arm” for the shuttle crafts
“The development and testing of payload bay door contingency spacewalk procedures, the extra-small spacesuit, and contingency repair procedures
Verification of flight software at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) where she reviewed test requirements and procedures for ascent, on-orbit, and RMS software verification – and served as a crew evaluator for verification and development testing for STS-2, STS-3 and STS-4. “
She did more testing at the Kennedy space center and she served as a physician on rescue helicopter operations. Fisher also served as a Capsule Communicator , also known as a CAPCOM, which is the sole person to communicate with the crew of a spacecraft from the mission controls center.
Post Challenger Disaster
After the challenger disaster, Anna Lee Tingle Fisher was the Deputy of the Mission Development Branch of the Astronaut Office, and also the astronaut office representative for Flight Data File issues. She represented the crew on the Crew Procedures Change Board. Fisher left NASA for a few years to raise her family and then returned to assume various duties.
Anna Lee Tingle Fisher is working on various technical assignments as she awaits a new space mission.