Margaret Rhea Seddon, MD, alumna of the College of Medicine (’73) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is set to be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 30. The public ceremony will be held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
One of NASA’s first female astronauts, Dr. Seddon will join the ranks of well-known space explorers including Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
This year marks the historic 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, which was conceived in the 1980s by the six remaining Mercury astronauts as a place where space explorers could be remembered. Past Hall of Fame inductees include Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle astronauts.
Dr. Seddon is a three-time space shuttle astronaut. She was selected by NASA in 1978 as one of the first six women to enter the astronaut program. On her final flight, STS-58/Columbia, Dr. Seddon was payload commander in charge of all science activities. This life science research flight is recognized by NASA as the most successful and efficient Spacelab mission ever flown. In all, Dr. Seddon has spent a total of 30 days in space.
From 1996 until 2007, Dr. Seddon served as assistant chief medical officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Since 2007, she has been a co-owner of LifeWings Partners, LLC, providing health care institutions across the country with support and guidance on leadership and patient safety. She travels widely, sharing insights gleaned from her astonishing career and current interests. Dr. Seddon was also the keynote speaker at UTHSC’s Centennial Gala in 2011.
Her memoir, Go For Orbit, will be published in late May. Dr. Seddon can be reached at www.AstronautRheaSeddon.com.
The United States Astronaut Hall of Fame opened in 1990 in Titusville, Florida, outside the gates to Kennedy Space Center. Today, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) serves as a consultant for the Hall of Fame, which includes conducting the selection process of astronauts for enshrinement by an outside committee. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to the best and brightest students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math. The prestigious Astronaut Scholarship is known nationwide for being among the highest scholarships awarded to undergraduate STEM students. Since its inception, ASF has awarded over $4 million in scholarship to more than 370 of the nation’s top scholars. For more information, call 321-449-4876 or log on to www.AstronautScholarship.org.