Meet Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-PiperMar 03, 2020 - Mar 07, 2020 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet veteran NASA astronauts.
You may meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities. See the Daily Schedule for times when you arrive.
- The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a discussion, so bring your questions and your camera.
- Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop at various times during the day.
- With an additional purchase, visitors can enjoy an exclusive buffet lunch and group presentation during Dine With An Astronaut. Offered at noon daily, lunch includes a question and answer session and photo opportunities!
Naval officer and astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper is a mission specialist veteran of two space flights, STS-115 Atlantis in 2006 and STS-126 Endeavour in 2008. Selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in April 1996, Piper reported to Johnson Space Center in August 1996. During her time as an astronaut, she logged over 27 days in space, including 33 hours and 42 minutes of during five spacewalks. Piper has also participated in NASA’s NEEMO program (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) as commander of the12th expedition in 2007. Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, this program studies human survival in the Aquarius underwater laboratory in preparation for living and working in space.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Piper received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984 and 1985. Piper retired from NASA in 2009 and returned to the U.S. Navy. She is also currently involved in supporting STEM student groups to encourage future space explorers.
Meet Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper