Meet the Expert:  Captain Wendy Lawrence, USN, retired —  Astronaut and Helicopter Pilot

Captain Wendy Lawrence graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering and earned her “Wings of Gold” in 1982. As a Navy helicopter pilot, she made several deployments to the North Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Kenya, making over 800 shipboard landings. After earning a master’s degree in ocean engineering from MIT, Captain Lawrence was selected as an astronaut in 1992 and worked at NASA for 14 years.

 

Her first flight, STS-67, was onboard Endeavour. It was the second mission for the ASTRO Observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes used to study ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies. Her next two missions docked with the Russian space station Mir. Captain Lawrence’s last flight was the first Shuttle “Return to Flight” mission following the loss of the orbiter Columbia and her crew. This flight evaluated new procedures for inspection and repair of the shuttle orbiter’s thermal protection system.

 

Captain Lawrence has spent over 50 days in space, orbiting the Earth approximately 800 times and traveling roughly 20 million miles. Currently, she works part-time at Space Camp and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, informing the public about NASA’s spaceflight programs and participating in STEM education programs.

 

Captain Wendy Lawrence piloting a U.S. Navy Helicopter

Capt Lawrence working on a U.S. Navy ship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence in space!

 

 

Wendy Lawrence is the first female to be recognized by the U.S. Naval Academy as a Distinguished Graduate. Learn more about her and her journey here:

***********************************************************************************************************************************

Challenge:

Look around their house, and with your parent’s permission,  find something that is broken.

But you have to fix it just using stuff you have around the house. Be creative (and SAFE!)

With your parents permission, send us a picture of what you fixed via email at podcast@solveitforkids.com OR

tag us on our Twitter or Instagram account @kidssolve

If you send in your challenge OR just leave a comment below about the episode, you will be entered into a giveaway to win a FREE copy of the book listed below.

***********************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

FREE Book Giveaway for this episode

How Military Helicopters Work by Walt Brody  (Lerner Books)

Helicopters are fast and impressive military aircraft. But did you know they can take off without a runway? Or that they can land in the water? Discover what makes these incredible feats possible in this look at these awesome aircraft!

Learn about different military vehicles in the Military Machines series―part of the Lightning Bolt Books™ collection. With high-energy designs, appealing photos, and lively text, Lightning Bolt Books™ bring nonfiction topics to life!

 

 

 

Book List

The Science of Flight: The Air-mazing Truth About Planes and Helicopters by Ian Graham (Franklin Watts)

How Do Helicopters Work? by Jennifer Boothroyd (Lerner Classroom)

Military Helicopters: Heroes of the Sky by Taylor Baldwin Kiland (Enslow Publishing)

The History of the American Space Shuttle  by Dennis R. Jenkins (Schiffer)