Marianne Dyson was a Timeliner and then a Flight Activities Officer in Mission Control during the first Space Shuttle flights, the subject of her memoir, A Passion for Space: Adventures of a Pioneering Female NASA Flight Controller. From systems failures to space sick crewmembers, how did the Mission Control team prepare, identify, and deal with problems encountered during the “shake-down” flights of a new space vehicle? What lessons might we take from these experiences in planning for future commercial and government flights on new vehicles to space stations, the Moon, and Mars? What barriers remain to the participation of women in these new adventures?
Since the 1990s, Dyson has pursued a second career as a writer and speaker on space topics, including hands-on STEM workshops for kids and teachers. She contributes to Ad Astra, the magazine of the National Space Society, and has stories in recent and upcoming issues of Analog Science Fiction. Her children’s books have won numerous awards including the most recent, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, which she coauthored with Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin for National Geographic and which was recognized by the National Science Teachers’ Association as a 2016 Outstanding Trade Book. Visit Dyson’s website, www.mDyson.com to book an appearance or sign up for her free Science Snacks newsletter.