- August 16, 2017
The Impact of NASA on the Lone Star State
On Sept. 19, 1961, NASA announced that the new spaceflight center we would come to know as Johnson Space Center would be located in Houston, Texas. A NASA press release issued that year explained, “this grouping of the facilities in a region permitting out-of-door work for most of the year provides flexibility and a capability of expansion to meet the needs of a very large vehicle which present projections indicate will be required for heavier payloads and deeper penetration into space beyond the moon to the planets.”
Long-time NASA historian Jennifer Ross-Nazzal joins us this month for an exploration of the Johnson Space Center’s first five decades. From a nearly bare site off of highway 528 in 1963 to a 25-acre campus that contributed $3 billion to the Houston area economy in 2015 alone, the Johnson Space Center has made its mark on Texas.
Join us and Dr. Ross-Nazzal at the Neill-Cochran House Museum at 2:00 pm on February 25, 2018. Complimentary refreshments provided. Presentation begins at 2:30 pm.
Admission is $10 to the general public, $5 to students with valid ID, and free to members of the Friends of the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Space is limited; while tickets are available at the door, we encourage patrons to register online.
Parking is available free to patrons in the museum lot located off of 23rd street between San Gabriel and Leon.
About the Speaker
Dr. Jennifer Ross-Nazzal has served as the JSC Historian since 2004. She was awarded her Ph.D. from Washington State University, her master’s in History from New Mexico State University, and B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Arizona.
Jennifer holds the unique distinction of being a scholar of NASA history and women’s history. She has been featured as a subject matter expert in several documentaries; is an accomplished oral historian; has presented at numerous national conferences; and authored many publications. Recently, the Texas State Historical Association awarded the Liz Carpenter Award for Research to Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives, a book containing her chapter on Mae Jemison, the first female astronaut of color. In 2012, Jennifer was awarded the Charles Thomson Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government for her chapter focusing on the Shuttle accidents in NASA’s Wings In Orbit: Scientific and Engineering Legacies of the Space Shuttle. Her essay, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe: The First Six Women Astronauts and the Media,” was included in Spacefarers: Images of Astronauts and Cosmonauts in the Heroic Era of Spaceflight (2013) and noted as “fascinating and an in-depth study on how the first group of NASA women dealt with the still occasionally sexist media.” For this work, she received her second Thomson Prize in three years.
In 2011 she published her first book, Winning the West for Women, a biography of suffragist, Emma Smith DeVoe. That same year, she was recognized by NASA Headquarters for her outstanding work as a historian for the Agency. Her latest manuscript, Making Space for Women, focuses on the history of JSC through the experiences of its female employees.