Saturday, March 08, 2008

Donna Shirley Profiled by CNN

For Women's History Month, CNN Student News has prepared "Profiles in Women's History" that includes Oklahoman Donna Shirley: "As a teenager in a small Oklahoma town, Donna Shirley dreamed of exploring Mars and took an intense interest in flying airplanes. Before she was out of her teens, she was flying solo and earning her pilot's licenses. Shirley entered college in the 1950s to study aerospace engineering at a time when engineering schools were still a male stronghold. She was successful, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree from the University of Southern California. Shirley spent 32 years at NASA's jet propulsion lab, the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system, where Shirley managed the Mars exploration program. In 1997, the world watched as two of her projects - the Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner Microrover - landed on Mars. Two months later, the Mars Global Surveyor went into orbit around the red planet. The projects that Shirley worked on became some of NASA's greatest successes."

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