Dr. Rhea Seddon, Reaching for the Stars

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we are spotlighting some of the women featured throughout our museum and heritage park who have changed history, made scientific breakthroughs, overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity and inspired the generations after them to see beyond.

One of two NASA flight suits on display in Discovery Park of America’s Moon Dome at STEM Landing was worn by former astronaut, Dr. Rhea Seddon. In 1978, Dr. Seddon was selected as one of the first six women to enter the Astronaut Program and would go on to serve a total of 30 days in space as  mission specialist on Space Shuttle flights in 1985 and 1991 and as a payload commander in charge of all science activities on her final flight in 1993.

After a 19 year career with NASA, she went on to become the assistant chief medical officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. There she led an initiative to improve patient safety, quality care and team effectiveness by use of an aviation-based model of Crew Resource Management.

She is a national speaker and award-winning author who today encourages young and old alike to reach for the stars. Dr. Seddon, a Murfreesboro, Tennessee-native now living in Nashville, was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005, the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame also in 2015.

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