Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Susan Kilrain

Nov 16, 2020 - Nov 16, 2020 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complexx

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!

Astronaut Bio:

Susan Kilrain is a veteran of two space shuttle missions, spending nearly 20 days in space. She joined NASA in 1995, serving as CAPCOM in mission control prior to piloting her two missions. Kilrain piloted both of her missions and is one of only three women to ever pilot the space shuttle. Her first flight was STS-83 Columbia in 1997, but the mission was cut short due to complications. Just a few months later, Kilrain launched on STS-94 Columbia, a continuation of STS-83 and the first reflight of the same vehicle, crew and payloads.

Kilrain holds an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her background prior to NASA, includes serving as a naval aviator in the Navy. She also attended test pilot school at Patuxent River in Maryland. In total, she has 3,000 hours of flight time in 30 aircraft.

Today, she is retired and travels as a motivational speaker, encouraging others to follow their dreams, and reminding them that anyone can become an astronaut. She is married to Captain Colin Kilrain, and they live in Virginia Beach, VA with their four children.

Retired space shuttle astronaut Susan Kilrain waves to spectators from a Chevrolet Corvette during a commemorative parade in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

Meet Astronaut Susan Kilrain


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