Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Kathryn Thornton

Jun 17, 2023 - Jun 20, 2023 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 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.



Astronaut Bio:


  • Montgomery, Alabama
  • 3 advanced degrees in physics, incl. PhD
  • Continued research at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany
  • Worked as a physicist in the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center
  • 1984 NASA class selection

Meet Astronaut Kathryn Thornton

Kathy Thornton


  • STS-33
  • STS-49
  • STS-61
  • STS-73