Dr. Sian Proctor, First Black Woman To Pilot A Spacecraft

It was years of scientific education and elite training that prepared Sian Proctor to become the 1st Black woman to pilot a spacecraft. The geoscientist and professor credits her father, a member of the ground team that supported the Apollo 11 spaceflight, with nurturing her interest in science.

In addition to substantial scientific expertise, Proctor developed other talents less common among scientist. She is a practicing artist and poet who believes cultural expression is a vital aspect of science. Apparently, Proctor’s interest in the arts was an asset during the selection process that helped her synch a position on the flight team. Proctor explained that, “. . . when I applied to go to space on Inspiration4, I said, Look, you need to send an artist and a poet . . .  The human part of us is the art, the music, the dancing, the expression, the culture that we bring along with us. It’s not just about the science, the technology, the engineering, and the math that gets us there.”

Click here to learn more about Sian Proctor, the brilliant spaceship pilot bringing a refreshing perspective to science by highlighting the value of human creativity in scientific application.

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