NASA Astronaut, currently in Space
As of this morning (July 12, 2001), Janet Kavandi is currently the flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, that is at this very moment hurling through Space.
She was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1994, began training in 1995, and in 1996 she was assigned to the Payloads and Habitability Branch that began work on Payload integration for the International Space Station. Dr. (Ph.D) Kavandi was the mission specialist on the 9th and final Shuttle-Mir docking mission (June 1998) and was part of the Shuttle Radar Topograpy Mission in February of 2000. With Payload Commander Janice Voss and five others, Kavandi assisted in the accurate terrain mapping of seventy percent of the earth's surface. She also served as backup on ascent and entry and was prepared for a spacewalk, if necessary.
Dr. Kavandi was born in Springfield, Missouri and received her bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Missouri Southern State College and her master of science degree from the University of Missouri. Shortly thereafter, she began working as an engineer for Boeing, where she was involved with projects that introduced her to the Space Staion, the Short Range Attack Missle, the Air Launched Cruise Missle, and the Minuteman and Peacekeeper. This was before she decided to attend the University of Washington and get her master's degree in analytical chemistry. Her doctoral dissertation was on pressure indicating paints and resulted in two patents.
It's obvious this lady in space is an exceptional person, as most humans who manage to get into space, are. She is married to John Kavandi and they have two children. When not soaring in space, Dr. Kavandi enjoys windsurfing, scuba diving, horseback riding and the piano.