August 26, 1959
Kathryn P. “Kay” Hire, a NASA astronaut and captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, was born in Mobile. After earning her Naval Flight Officer wings in October 1982, Hire conducted worldwide airborne oceanographic research missions with Oceanographic Development Squadron Eight (VXN-8) based at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Hire flew as Mission Specialist-2 on STS-90 Neurolab (1998) and logged more than 381 hours in space. She served as the Astronaut Office Lead for Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), Shuttle Payloads and Flight Crew Equipment. Hire is considered a “NASA Management Astronaut,” which means that she is employed at NASA but no longer eligible for spaceflight assignments.
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Portrait of astronaut Kathryn P. “Kay” Hire, mission specialist, 2009. (Photograph by Bill Stafford, NASA, Wikipedia)
The Neurolab payload for STS-90, launched aboard shuttle Columbia from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on April 2, 1998. The Neurolab mission focused on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. (NASA)
Members of the STS-90 crew participate in Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) activities. The STS-90 crew members are, from left to right, Payload Specialist Jay Buckey, M.D., Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialist Kathryn “Kay” Hire, Commander Richard Searfoss, Payload Specialist James Pawelczyk, Ph.D., Mission Specialist Dafydd “Dave” Williams with the Canadian Space Agency, and Mission Specialist Richard Linnehan, D.V.M. (NASA)
The crew of STS-90 participates in Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) activities at KSC’s Launch Pad 39B. The TCDT is held at KSC prior to each space shuttle flight to provide crews with the opportunity to participate in simulated countdown activities. Here, Mission Specialist Kathryn “Kay” Hire gives a “thumbs up” to the mission after being suited up in her orange launch and re-entry suit. (NASA)
Mission specialist Kathryn “Kay” Hire, at left, a crew member on space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-130 mission, participates in familiarization training for the Tranquility Node 3 module in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Assisting her, at right, is Chris Hardcastle, an STS-130 flight crew representative with United Space Alliance. Tranquility is a pressurized module that will provide room for many of the International Space Station’s life support systems. (NASA/Jack Pfaller)
From left, astronauts Pam Melroy; Kay Hire; Cady Coleman; Kathy Sullivan; Tam O’Shaughnessy, Sally Ride’s life partner and chair, board of directors of Sally Ride Science; astronauts Bonnie Dunbar; Sandy Magnus; Julie Payette; and Ellen Ochoa, pose for a photograph before a National Tribute to Sally Ride at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Monday, May 20, 2013 in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
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