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Marsha Ivins: How to become a NASA astronaut?

We met with Marsha Ivins to find out what it takes to become a NASA astronaut.

Marsha Ivins was just ten years old when the first US astronauts went into space. As an avid reader of science fiction, she was fascinated. Despite concerns that ‘all the cool stuff in space was going to be done’ by the time she’d be old enough to grasp an intergalactic experience, she made it her life’s mission to become an astronaut.

Following a 37-year career as a NASA engineer and a veteran of five Space Shuttle flights, it’s fair to say Marsha accomplished her quest.

As it turns out, many of the skills needed to become a successful astronaut, such as resilience and creative problem solving are taught in STEAM learning.

Marsha shares with us how she carved out a career path to make her dreams come true. 

Watch Marsha talk about her mission to reach space in this video 

Marsha’s story is one of passion and persistence; she learned to fly before she could drive, and was unsuccessful on two applications to the Space Shuttle Programme – succeeded on the third.

Developing many soft skills (which may not typically be associated with aerospace), such as learning to work as a team and resilience were key to Marsha’s success.

Discover what key soft skills an astronaut needs and how to encourage young people to pursue their passions in this video.

Loved this article?

Register for our exclusive STEAM-focussed webinar panel discussion to hear more from Marsha Ivins, alongside panellists:

  • Tim Peake, British ESA Astronaut 
  • Anne-Marie Imafidon, Stemettes CEO 
  • Craig Kemp, Global EdTech Consultant
  • Alistair Bryce-Clegg, Early Years Consultant.
  • Simon Hunt, Primary Teacher and Consultant

Critical Thinking

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