On this day in Alabama history: Astronaut Jan Davis launched her last space flight

On this day in Alabama history: Astronaut Jan Davis launched her last space flight
Five NASA astronauts and a Canadian payload specialist pause from their training schedule to pose for the traditional crew portrait for their mission. In front are astronauts Curtis L. Brown Jr. (right), mission commander, and Kent V. Rominger, pilot. On the back row, from the left, are astronauts Robert L. Curbeam Jr., Stephen K. Robinson and N. Jan Davis, all mission specialists, along with the Canadian Space Agency payload specialist Bjarni Tryggvason, May 1997. (NASA)

Aug. 7, 1997

Astronaut Jan Davis boarded her last flight into space on the Discovery, completing 189 orbits and traveling 4.7 million miles. She joined NASA in 1979 as an aerospace engineer after receiving her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University, and earned a master’s (1983) and Ph.D (1985) in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Before retiring, Davis logged a total of 11 million miles in space, circling the earth 445 times for 673 hours.

Read more at the Encyclopedia of Alabama

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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