Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, PhD, is a retired NASA Astronaut and President and CEO of the Museum of Flight. Dr. Dunbar became a NASA astronaut in August 1981.
Dr. Dunbar became President and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Sept. 2005. Her selection by the Board of Trustees followed a year-long search process and was affirmed by a unanimous vote of the executive committee of the Museum's Board of Trustees.
"Dr. Dunbar was a clear standout in her passionate commitment to youth education which is central to the museum's mission. She has a remarkable ability to use her own amazing experiences to inspire youth."
According to Dr. Dunbar, "Part of the reason we honor the past is to inspire the future ... I am thrilled about becoming part of such a vibrant organization and look forward to contributing to its future success in preserving and interpreting the glorious past of space exploration while helping to inspire its even brighter future."
A veteran of 5 space missions, Dunbar has logged 1,208 hours - more than 50 days - in orbit aboard the shuttles Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia and Endeavor. Her most recent space flight was the STS-88 mission aboard Endeavor, Jan. 22-31, 1998. As payload commander on this mission, Dunbar was responsible for more than four tons of scientific equipment, supplies and water for delivery to the Russian Space Station Mir, as well as twenty-three scientific experiments aboard the shuttle. In February 1994, she traveled to Star City, Russia, where she spent 13 months training as a back-up crew member for a 3-month flight on the Russian Space Station, Mir. In March 1995, she was certified by the Russian Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center as qualified to fly on long duration Mir Space Stations flights. In 1996, she was detailed to the NASA JSC Mission Operations Directorate as Assistant Director where she was responsible for chairing the International Space Station Training Readiness Reviews and facilitating Russian/American operations and training strategies. Dunbar's final NASA asignment has been as Associate Director of Technology Integration and Risk Management at the Johnson Space Center's Space and LIfe Science Directorate. She retired from the Space Agency effective Sept. 30, 2005.
Dr. Dunbar earned a bachelor and master's degree in ceramic engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle and a doctorate in mechanical/biomedical engineering degree from the University of Houston. She held research and engineering positions with the Boeing Co., Harwell Laboratories and Rockwell, International until 1978 when she joined NASA as a flight controller. Two years later, she was selected as a NASA mission specialist astronaut.
Dr. Dunbar has been honored by numerous professional societies and universities as well as by NASA. She is the recipient of The Museum of Flight's Pathfinder Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to aviation or aerospace by individuals from the northwest.
She has been a licensed private pilot since the 1970's and logged more than 1,000 hours as co-pilot of NASA's T-38 jets. She owns and is restoring a 1946 Ercoupe light plane.
"Space Exploration: Form Apollo into the New Millennium" 30-45 minute presentation beginning with slides, then a video, then remaining slides.
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