Astronaut Lucid's journey as the 1st American woman to live in a space station

Randi MannDigital Reporter

On this day in weather history, Lucid started her record-breaking journey on the Mir space station.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Mar. 24, 1996, Shannon Lucid transferred from the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis to the Russian space station Mir. She stayed in Mir for almost six months, making her the first American female astronaut to live in a space station.

shannon lucid

Astronaut Shannon Lucid. Courtesy of NASA

Lucid was born on Jan. 14, 1943, in Shanghai, China. Her Baptist missionary parents were imprisoned by the Japanese, so she spent her first year of life in a penitentiary. They were released during a prisoner swap and were kept safe in the U.S. until the end of WWII. After the war, they returned to China and stayed there until Lucid was six. The family settled in Bethany, Oklahoma, where Lucid attended elementary and high school.

After high school, Lucid received a pilot's license and bought an old plane. Then she studied a bunch at the University of Oklahoma, receiving a Bachelor's degree in chemistry, a Master's degree in biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

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In 1978, NASA campaigned for women candidates due to newly enacted anti-discrimination laws. Lucid was one of six who was selected to join the NASA Astronaut Corps.

Lucid partook in six space missions. In Jun. 1985 she went on her first mission on board the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Shannon Lucid

Astronaut Shannon Lucid. Courtesy of NASA

Lucid is best known for her record-length time on Mir. On Mar. 22, 1996, she launched aboard STS-76 Atlantis. She docked and transferred onto the Mir Space Station. On board, she performed life and physical science experiments. She returned home aboard STS-79 Atlantis on Sep. 26, 1996. During this mission, Lucid travelled over 121 million km in 188 days, 4 hours, and 14 seconds.

To learn more about Lucid's missions, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Courtesy of Pixabay