Selected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Thomas became an astronaut in July 1991. Dr. Thomas has served in the Safety, Operations Development, and Payloads Branches of the Astronaut Office. He was CAPCOM (spacecraft communicator) for Shuttle missions STS-47, 52 and 53. From July 1999 to June 2000 he was Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. A veteran of four space flights, STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 and STS-94, he has logged over 1,040 hours in space as a Mission Specialist.
Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA's Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as a Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation's dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
Francis French is a book and magazine author from Manchester, England, specializing in space flight history. He is a former director of events for Sally Ride Science, and a director at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. French's space history writing is noted for the amount of personal interviews with astronauts and cosmonauts, including Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter, and Pavel Popovich. In addition, French is a contributor to the magazine of the British Interplanetary Society, and is a Fellow of the society. He is also an inductee of both the astronaut branch of the Ancient Order of Turtles and the US Space & Rocket Center's Space Camp Hall of Fame.
Sarah Stuck has a B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College. She is the onsite keeper and volunteer coordinator for Nurtured by Nature, assisting with animal husbandry, socialization of animals and volunteer management, as well as participating in the interactive programs. She is also a Quality Assurance Manager at Pharmatek Laboratories which develops and manufactures pharmaceutical products for clinical trials. Sarah has also worked for the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park as a walking tour guide for the Roar and Snore Safari and as an interpretive volunteer at the cheetah exhibit, and has participated in birth watches for the African elephants and gorillas. She also volunteered at the Project Wildlife care center, helping to care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.
Shalene Baxter is the Education Specialist for the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State University San Marcos, and has worked in the field of both formal and informal education for over 18 years.
While working at the Museum, Shalene had the opportunity to experience a Zero-G weightless flight and has met numerous astronauts including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Gene Cernan all of which she will never forget.
Preserve significant artifacts of air and space history and technology.
Inspire excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Educate the public about the historical and social significance of air and space technology and engage its promise for the future.
Celebrate aviation and space flight history and technology.
Aviation history is truly a remarkable story, and it all unfolds at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Your journey through the history of flight begins as you stand beneath a model of the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon of 1783 - the first manned vehicle in recorded history to break the bonds of gravity and lift humans above the Earth. Rare specimens of aircraft suggest the excitement of air combat in the World War I Gallery. Marvel at the entertaining and dangerous antics of the barnstormers of the 1920s in the Golden Age of Flight Gallery. Mint condition aircraft in a mint condition museum - a Spitfire Mk. XVI, a Navy F6F Hellcat and an A-4 Skyhawk jet - these beautifully restored airplanes help you appreciate the increasingly complex technology represented in the classic military aircraft of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The Museum’s display of space age technology, like the desire to journey to the stars, may never be finished, for it represents an adventure which the human race has truly just begun.