JoanHigginbothamDYK2And not only is she a native of Chicago, but she is also a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, class of 1987. Shortly after graduating with her Bachelor of Science degree that year, she began an extraordinary 10-year career with NASA.

Ms. Higgingbotham retired from NASA in 1996 after she took part in STS-116 on the Space Shuttle Discovery, during which time she spent 12 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes in space.

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Watch and listen to Joan talk about her NASA career in her own words.