Former NASA Astronaut to Speak at Auburn
Auburn alumna and former NASA astronaut Jan Davis will present “An Auburn Astronaut: My Journey into Space” Friday, September 15, as part of the Auburn University Libraries’ Discover Auburn Women of Distinction, a lecture series celebrating 125 years of Auburn women, and held in conjunction with the This is Auburn Speaker Series. Davis will speak at 3 p.m., in the atrium of the Auburn Alumni Center.
Davis is a former American astronaut who has logged more than 670 hours and orbited the earth 325 times on three Space Shuttle flights. She joined NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville in 1979 as an aerospace engineer. In 1987, she was selected to join the Astronaut Corps at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Davis held many leadership positions with NASA before retiring from the agency in 2005. She continues to work with Gastion Technologies, a NASA contractor at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
She did her graduate research work in mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and is a 1971 graduate of Huntsville High School. She earned bachelor’s degrees from Auburn University and the Georgia Institute of Technology and in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, respectively.
Davis was elected to both the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame and the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame and is active on the Auburn Engineering Alumni Council. In 2002, she was given the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. She has received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, Space Medal and Outstanding Leadership Medal.
In 2012, she received Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is married to the honorable Dick Richardson, judge for the District Court of Madison County, and has two children. She speaks frequently on topics related to space and science.
Davis’ talk is being given the Friday before Auburn’s homecoming football game versus Mercer.