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Come Talk to An Astronaut: Howard University Welcomes Jessica Watkins to Campus, Friday, March 31

jessica watkins-astro-phd

WASHINGTON – NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins will visit Howard University, Friday, March 31, at 9 a.m., on the first floor of the Interdisciplinary Research Building on Georgia Avenue. Watkins spent 170 days in 2022 on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station. 

Watkins, Ph.D., was selected by NASA to join the 2017 astronaut candidate class, following which. she completed two years of training. She has worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was a science team collaborator for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.  

“I expect Howard University students to be excited to see and talk to an African American woman astronaut – someone who looks like them, is a role model, and who can inspire all of us to do extraordinary things,” said Prabhakar Misra, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, which is hosting the astronaut’s visit.  

The SpaceX Crew-4 mission, which concluded October 2022, was the first space flight for Watkins. It was also the first flight of the Crew Dragon “Freedom” spacecraft. During the mission, she maintained the space station and contributed to science experiments that not only might improve life on Earth, but also allow researchers to learn more about the effects of long duration spaceflight on the human body. 

The Colorado native earned a bachelor's of science degree in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University, and a doctorate in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Watkins conducted her graduate research on the emplacement mechanisms of large landslides on Mars and Earth.  

For more information, contact Dr. Misra via pmisra@howard.edu


About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.