Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Joan Higginbotham

Jun 29, 2022 - Jul 02, 2022 Kennedy Space Center

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 a veteran NASA astronaut. 

Meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities.  See the Daily Schedule for the times for each when you arrive. 

  • The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a question-and-answer session, so be prepared to ask him or her what you have always wanted to know.
  • Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop and Shuttle Express at various times during the day.
  • During the all-new Chat With An Astronaut, enjoy a sampling of food and beverages while having a group conversation with the Astronaut of the Day about what it is really like to live and work in space.  This new add-on enhancement requires daily admission.



  • Born in Chicago, Illinois 
  • She holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Space Systems
  • Served as a Payload Electrical Engineer at Kennedy Space Center.
  • Went on to serve in a number of positions including Lead Orbiter Project Engineer for Columbia.
  • She participated in 53 space shuttle launches during her nine years at Kennedy Space Center.
  • Selected by NASA in 1996.
  • Flew on STS-116 in 2006, which added the P-5 Spacer Truss to the International Space Station.


Meet Astronaut Joan Higginbotham