Steve Roy

Media Relations Department

(256) 544-0034

RELEASE: 00-100

A new NASA Web site features women who are making history with their
contributions to NASA’s Microgravity Research Program, managed at the
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Women with diverse expertise, from all parts of the United States and
abroad, are profiled on the site. To learn about the exciting and often
inspiring accomplishments and lives of these women — as well as their
advice to young women — go to:

Women are helping to forge the relatively new field of microgravity
science – the study of many important natural processes in the
near-weightless environment of spacecraft orbiting Earth. Women profiled on
the Web site play many roles in microgravity research. They range from
astronauts who design experiments and conduct them in space — to
scientists who have made ground-breaking discoveries — to engineers who are
designing major facilities for the International Space Station, the first
permanent, international space laboratory.

The featured women include Marshall Center Deputy Director Carolyn
S. Griner, who helps manage the Center’s myriad activities. She started her
career with pioneering studies in modeling metals and exploring the best way
to conduct a variety of experiments at the same time inside space-based

“When I was 15 years old, I witnessed John Glenn’s first launch into
space from my high school yard in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and I knew where I
wanted to apply my love of science and math,” said Griner.

Another woman profiled on the site, Dr. Karen McDonald Moore, a
biochemist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, tells young women,
“Dream! Your opportunities are unlimited, so reach for the sky in every
aspect of your life.”

Moore has served as lead scientist for more than 25 biotechnology
experiments aboard the Space Shuttle. She is enjoying watching her two
daughters launch their science careers as a pediatrician and a veterinarian.

“I can still remember watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps
on the Moon, and thinking to myself – wow, someday I’d love to do something
with NASA. And here I am,” said Dr. Jeanne L. Becker, a medical scientist
who does NASA-funded research at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
She uses NASA cell culture devices to provide new insights into human breast
and ovarian cancer. This program is led by NASA’s Biotechnology Cell
Science Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Sandra L. Olson has made discoveries about how flames spread in
microgravity, spurring NASA to change fire safety practices on spacecraft.
“The best part of my job as a researcher is the thrill of discovering new
phenomena unique to microgravity,” said Olson, an engineer who works on
combustion experiments with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Marshall Center scientist Dr. Sharon Cobb is working on a project
that brings people together from several countries designing and building
equipment for materials science experiments on the International Space

“It is fascinating for me to explore the effects of gravity on the
processing of materials we use in our everyday lives,” said Cobb.

Cobb and the other women featured on the site work at or with the
Marshall Center – NASA’s Lead Center for Microgravity Research and Space
Product Development. Scientists and engineers at Marshall manage and
develop experiments and equipment for materials science and biotechnology
Marshall also oversees research programs in combustion science and fluid
physics at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, as well as cell culture and tissue
research at the Johnson Space Center and fundamental physics research at
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

– 30-