Former NASA astronaut to be honored with Nevada Medal of Science

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A trailblazer and role model for women and girls in science will be honored Tuesday in Nevada.

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan is a triple world record holder in space and sea exploration. Governor Steve Sisolak will present her with this year’s Desert Research Institute Nevada Medal of Science Award.

Dr. Sullivan was the first American woman to walk in space for NASA. Last year, she became the first woman to reach the Challenger in the Mariana Trench. That’s the deepest part of the ocean.

“Leaving the planet to go to outer space is an explosive event. It’s very short, it’s very intense. It only take 8.5 minutes to get into orbit. Leaving the surface of the earth to go to the bottom of the deep sea is much more peaceful, calm, smooth. It’s like a serene elevator ride, basically,” Dr. Sullivan explained.

She also helped launch and maintain the Hubble Space Telescope, and served as an administrator for NOAA.

She has some advice for girls and women who want to follow in her footsteps.

“If you’re really interested in science or if you want to be an astronaut or firefighter, you will bump into people who think its odd that that interests you and ‘that’s not what girls should do.’ When you meet that person, what you want to remember is no one gets to edit what you’re interested in. Your interests are your interests and you’re completely allowed to develop those interests into whatever they may become in your life,” she said.

The virtual ceremony to honor her is Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. To register online, click here.

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