February 11, 1994
Astronaut Jan Davis returned to Earth on the space shuttle Discovery after completing 130 orbits. A native of Florida, Davis moved to Huntsville as an elementary school student and joined NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as an aerospace engineer in 1979. Over the course of her career, Davis flew on three space shuttle missions (including her first with fellow Alabamian Mae Jemison), logged more than 673 hours and 11 million miles in space, orbited the Earth 445 times, and held a number of leadership positions throughout NASA. Davis was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame and the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2001.
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Astronaut Nancy Jan Davis, payload commander, 10/9/1987. (Wikimedia, NASA)
The design of the crew patch for NASA’s STS-60 mission depicts the Space Shuttle Discovery’s on-orbit configuration. The American and Russian flags symbolize the partnership of the two countries and their crew members taking flight into space together for the first time. The open payload bay contains: the Space Habitation Module (Spacehab), a commercial space laboratory for life and material science experiments; and a Getaway Special Bridge Assembly in the aft section carrying various experiments, both deployable and attached. A scientific experiment to create and measure an ultra-vacuum environment and perform semiconductor material science — the Wake Shield Facility — is shown on the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) prior to deployment. (NASA).
Five NASA astronauts and a Russian Cosmonaut take a break from training for their scheduled flight in space to pose for the traditional crew portrait. In the front (left to right) are Astronauts Kenneth S. Reightler Jr., and Charles F. Bolden Jr., pilot and commander, respectively. On middle row are Astronauts Franklin R. Chang-Diaz and N. Jan Davis, mission specialists. On back row are Astronaut Ronald M. Sega (left) and Russia’s Sergei K. Krikalev, both mission specialists, 12/1/1993. (NASA)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.