Astro Girl: Judith Resnik

Judith Resnik was born in Akron, Ohio in 1949. Both her parents were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. She joined the North African space Agency (NASA) in 1978 and sh made it to space in 1984 on the Space Shuttle Discovery as a mission specialist.

On a space craft, a mission specialist is the astronaut with a specific mission, like doing medical or engineering experiments.

Even though she made history as a woman and as a Jew, she never liked being pigeonholed. She told her father that she wanted to be remembered as  “just another astronaut, period.” 

Judith Resnik was the second American woman in space and the fourth woman in space worldwide, spending a total of 145 hours in orbit. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor. The Award is a technical field award presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to either an individual, or a team, “for outstanding contributions to space engineering.

Tragically, Judith Resnik, was killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated during launch in January 1986.

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