Lessons from Space Lead Straight Back to Earth

March 28, 2019

Lessons from Space Lead Straight Back to Earth

Presented by: Cady Coleman, Astronaut, Scientist, Musician, Explorer, Mom

Dr. Cady Coleman has joined ASU as the Global Explorer in Residence for our Interplanetary Initiative and is also a part-time Professor of the Practice in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.  She flew twice on the Space Shuttle and lived on the International Space Station for 6 months. Cady uses the compelling background of her space missions to showcase valuable lessons that are essential to solving present and future challenges.  With extraordinary photos and videos from space, she shares her perspective on how everyone can bring their best to the table, as well as how they can bring out the best in others on their teams.

Cady is a chemist, a retired United States Air Force Colonel, and former NASA Astronaut with more than 180 days in space, accumulated during two space shuttle missions and a six-month expedition to the International Space Station (ISS). She launched and landed aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and acted as the Lead Robotics and Lead Science officer during  her tenure aboard the ISS, performing the second-ever robotic capture of a supply ship from the station.

In her spare time, she coached actress Sandra Bullock in preparation for Bullock’s astronaut role in the movie “Gravity.”  During her time on the ground at NASA, Cady served in a variety of roles within the Astronaut Office, including Chief of Robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident, and lead astronaut for integration of supply ships from NASA’s commercial partners, Space X and Northrup Grumman.  Before retiring from NASA, she led open-innovation and public-private partnership efforts for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters.

Cady earned a BS in chemistry from MIT in 1983 and a PhD in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1991. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, she pioneered new materials for aviation as a research chemist before  being selected as an astronaut in 1992.

When not at ASU, Cady is a public speaker, advocating for inclusion in STEM and STEAM fields and on teams everywhere.  She is also a consultant for space related work, including microgravity research. Cady serves on several boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Greenfield Community College, Dent the Future and Skycatch, an innovative AI company that uses drones to provide decision-making data.  She is research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab and an advisor to Earthrise Media, advocating the use of photographs of earth from space to provide educational tools as well as context and perspective for environmental and social justice issues.

Cady  lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband Josh Simpson, a glass artist, and their two sons.  She is an amateur flute player, best known for her “Space Duet” with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and her work from space with the acclaimed Irish band The Chieftains.


Thursday, March 28, 2019
5:30 - 6:30 pm
Marston Exploration Theater, ISTB4
Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Register Now