All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary
Women make up only 25 percent of the science, engineering and technology workforce... We are delighted to be working with NASA Ames to give Silicon Valley area girls a chance to explore and develop their potential in science at an age when many begin to drift away from their natural interest.
If girls are interested, they have the potential to go further, ... There are still lingering stereotypes that affect girls in middle school, and they lose interest in the subjects.
Today, the astronaut corps is almost 25% female, ... and I want that to continue to rise.
There are lots of opportunities out there for women to work in these fields, ... Girls just need support, encouragement and mentoring to follow through with the sciences.
We have come a long way
My parents didn't have a scientific bone in their body, and their daughter was pursuing a career in astrophysics. They didn't even know what astrophysics meant, but they supported me
I felt very honored, and I knew that people would be watching very closely, and I felt it was very, very important that I do a good job.
I didn't really decide that I wanted to be an astronaut for sure until the end of college.
After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.
For quite some time, women at NASA only had scientific backgrounds.
Once you are assigned to a flight, the whole crew is assigned at the same time, and then that crew trains together for a whole year to prepare for that flight.
The most anxious time was during launch, just because that is so dramatic.
Well, we spend an awful lot of our time working and doing experiments. It's very busy up on the shuttle.
The pressure suit helps if something goes wrong during launch or re-entry - astronauts have a way to parachute off the shuttle. The suits protect you from loss of pressure in case of emergency.