Defying Gravity, Part 10

Astronaut/aquanaut Nicole P. Stott takes a moment to pose for a picture beside a habitat window during her stay inside the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory. Credit: NASA

The gURLs who Spacewalk

Spacewalking astronauts are big right now thanks to a certain blockbuster movie full of A-List Hollywood Stars. In preparing for her role in Gravity, actress Sandra Bullock turned to real-life astronaut Cady Coleman for advice about what life in space is really like. But the big screen is obviously nothing like the real thing.

Stepping outside of a spacecraft that is orbiting our planet at speeds of thousands (and thousands) of miles per hour is a frightening prospect. So who are the brave women that have actually performed this heroic work in real life?

To this day, eleven women have made the journey. At number ten is astronaut (and aquanaut) Nicole Stott.

In the NASA video below, Nicole Stott talks about the path she took to become an astronaut. Other topics include life aboard the ISS and the legacy of the Space Shuttle Program. From: NASA Kennedy



Expedition 20 flight engineer Nicole Stott participates in the STS-128 mission’s first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. The spacewalk lasted six-hours and 35-minutes. Credit: NASA

Nicole Stott

Nicole Stott had her first long-duration space flight experience as a member of the ISS Expeditions 20 and 21. She spent 6 hours and 39 minutes outside of the station with crewmate John Olivas. On a later Space Shuttle Discovery mission (STS-133), Stott also directed two spacewalks as the onboard EVA crewmember. 


Stott is also an aquanaut who served a crewmember on the ninth NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 9) mission. She is among the crew that holds the longest-duration mission (18 days) onboard the undersea Aquarius research habitat.

“We really have the most beautiful planet in our solar system. None other can sustain life like we know it. None other has blue water and white clouds covering colorful landmasses filled with thriving, beautiful, living things like human beings. We are lucky, and to quote a great movie, we are a privileged planet. I do hope there are other wonderful planets living and thriving out there, but ours is special because it is ours and ours to take care of. We really can’t take that too lightly.” – Sunita William, NASA ISS Mission Log.

In this interview, "Nicole Stott On Being a Mom and Space Explorer," Stott talks about preparing for a long-duration mission where she was away from family, friends and her son. From: ReelNASA