NASA has lost yet another veteran astronaut. This time it was long-time astronaut Marsha Ivins. Ivins has flown into space five times. Ivins actually started her 36 years with the space agency as an engineer. before she was selected as an astronaut in 1984.
As an engineer she worked on the space shuttle, her area was the orbiter’s flight controls and the vehicle’s head-up-display (HUD). She also served as the flight engineer with the Shuttle Training Aircraft or STA.
“Marsha’s incredible depth of mission experience and technical expertise has been a tremendous asset to this office,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office. “We have relied on her expertise for years in many diverse areas, her expertise and dedication to NASA’s mission will be sorely missed.”
Ivins spent over 1,300 hours in space during her five space shuttle missions. In the years between 1990 and 2001 Ivins flew on STS-32, STS-46, STS-62, STS-81 (this mission docked with the Mir space station) and STS-98 (an ISS assembly flight).
Ivins was most recently involved with work within the Astronaut Office supporting the shuttle, station and Constellation Programs. Her departure comes on the heels of several other veteran astronauts leaving the space agency in recent months. With the space shuttle era coming to a close, many astronauts are deciding to leave NASA.