Tara Sweeney has been inspiring children and adults to see the wonder of space exploration and the importance of the STEM fields that make it possible for nearly four decades. She has served as CEO, President, Interim Executive Director, COO, CSO, and Vice President, of technology test and evaluation organizations focused on operations in austere and hazardous environments for national defense, homeland security, and intelligence community projects. Tara is a retired United States Air Force Special Operations Command Officer. She has engaged in both military and civilian aviation activities, including as a single-engine aircraft pilot, a glider student pilot, a helicopter maintenance officer, a parabolic flight coach, and a parabolic flight attendant. Tara has accumulated approximately five hours in microgravity while conducting space-based research experiments and training participants how to experience reduced gravity. She previously served as the leader of the world-renowned STEM education program, Space Camp, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2018. Tara holds degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Regis University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Texas at El Paso. Tara is from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and has twice been inducted into the Fitchburg High School Athletic Hall of Fame as an Individual Inductee and as a Team Inductee. She presently lives in El Paso, Texas, with her wife, Dr. Jennifer Bishop, and their dog, Sylvia.
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