Celebrate Women’s History Month with NASA Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger at The Museum of Flight

Local space shuttle astronaut shares her warm and inspiring story on March 30

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger onboard the International Space Station. NASA photo.


On March 30 at 3 p.m., NASA astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger shares her experiences of flying in the space shuttle and being an Educator Mission Specialist on the International Space Station. In 2010 the Puget Sound-local logged over 362 hours in space, and in 2012 she commanded an international crew of aquanauts as they all lived in NASA’s undersea habitat, Aquarius.

Despite her lofty experiences, former high school teacher Metcalf is always down to Earth with friendly and inspiring enthusiasm, and the audience is encouraged to ask her questions. The program is free with Museum Membership and included with general admission.

Dorothy “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger, the daughter of two teachers with a love of the space program, has “The Right Stuff.” As a NASA astronaut who flew with the crew of STS-131 to the International Space Station, Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger has risen to heights that make those of the Mile High City of Denver, in which she grew up, pale by comparison. It may have been inevitable that Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger would follow in her parents’ footsteps to become a high school earth science and astronomy teacher – and inevitable, too, that she would copy them by sharing her love of the space program with her students.

As Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger writes, while she found photos from the Hubble Space Telescope “fascinating,” it was her fascination that bred a similar fascination about spaceflight in her students. And, it was one of her students who, in raising the question “How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?”, led Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger to a NASA Website that not only provided her the answer but also an application to become an educator astronaut. As an earth science and astronomy teacher, Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger seemed a natural fit for the astronaut program – she had earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash., and her teaching certificate from Central Washington University, Ellensburg – but it was her enthusiasm and eagerness for spaceflight, that “Right Stuff” nurtured in her by two teachers, her parents, that made her stand out among all other candidates to win her a much-coveted place in the astronaut program.


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