Archiving Astronomical Achievements

As Alum Prepares for Liftoff, Explore Some Out-of-This-World Objects From Past Terp Travels
By Annie Dankelson | Memorabilia photo by John T. Consoli

When NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps M.S. ’94, Ph.D.’00 launches into a six-month International Space Station expedition later this year, it’ll be one giant leap: She’s scheduled to become the first Black woman to work on the orbiting space lab’s crew.

Epps, who studied aerospace engineering at Maryland, will join the ranks of four other space-traveling Terps: Judith Resnik Ph.D. ’77, William McCool M.S. ’85, Paul W. Richards M.S. ’91 and Richard R. Arnold II M.S. ’92. To commemorate the occasion, we joined University Archives on a blast into the past to unearth a few of their donated souvenirs.

Richards—who logged a 6-hour, 21-minute spacewalk during his March 2001 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery—presented his alma mater with photos of the spacecraft and crew (decked out in red, white and blue, of course), a patch with all of their names, and an American flag that’s in surprisingly good condition after its 5.3 million-mile journey.


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