AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – Joan Higginbotham began his NASA career in 1987 as a payload electrical engineer at the Kennedy Space Center
(KSC) in Florida.
During her nine-year tenure there, she participated in numerous space shuttle launches from the shooting range
room, the “nerve center” for launches – an impressive achievement for everyone. However, when she returned to KSC for the Space Shuttle Discovery launch on STS-116, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station, she took “participation” to a whole new level: as a astronaut Joan Higginbotham. To date, she is the third of three African-American female astronauts to fly into space.
For astronauts like Joan, performing common tasks that we take for granted here on Earth can be quite difficult in space. Take exercise for example. Astronauts in space exercise up to 14 hours a week to stay healthy, and their clothes take a hit. It’s one example of why NASA is partnering with P&G to create and discover new innovations that effectively clean clothes in harsh environments. The partnership will help unveil groundbreaking ideas and fuel future innovations over the next decade. NASA Tide, a detergent, is developed specifically for use in space to combat issues such as bad odors, cleanliness and stain removal, while ensuring that laundry water can be recycled for be reused as drinking water. Products like this will be used to advance environmentally friendly, resource-efficient laundry solutions here on Earth.
Tide will also be part of future Artemis Moon and Mars missions to help develop cleaning solutions for even longer crewed missions.
On June 23, Joan Higginbotham will be available to discuss how more sustainable solutions in space can lead to practical and impactful solutions here at home. She will also share memories of her space flight and what she expects to see from NASA’s space program in the years to come.