Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
Astronaut Anna Fisher poses near a 3M experiment involving the DMOS
Credit: NASA
Fisher, Dr Anna Lee Tingle (1949-) American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-A. First mother in space. Was married to astronaut William Fisher. Took extended leave 1989 to 1996 to raise family.

Grew up in San Pedro, California. Educated UCLA.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Anna L. Fisher, (M.D.)
NASA Astronaut

Born August 24, 1949, in New York City, New York, but considers San Pedro, California, to be her hometown. Married to Dr. William F. Fisher of Dallas, Texas. They have two children. She enjoys snow and water skiing, jogging, flying, scuba diving, reading, photography, and spending time with her daughters. Her mother, Mrs. Riley F. Tingle, resides in San Pedro, California. Father, deceased, July 3, 1982. His mother, Mrs. Russell F. Fisher, resides in Winter Park, Florida. His father is deceased.

Graduated from San Pedro High School, San Pedro, California, in 1967; received a bachelor of science in Chemistry and a doctor of Medicine from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971 and 1976, respectively; completed a 1-year internship at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California, in 1977; received a master of science in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1987.

Awarded a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 1970, 1971. Graduated from UCLA cum laude and with honors in chemistry. Recipient of: NASA Space Flight Medal; Lloyd's of London Silver Medal for Meritorious Salvage Operations.

After graduating from UCLA in 1971, Dr. Fisher spent a year in graduate school in chemistry at UCLA working in the field of x-ray crystallographic studies of metallocarbonanes. She co-authored 3 publications relating to these studies for the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry. She began medical school at UCLA in 1972 and, following graduation in 1976, commenced a 1-year internship at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California. After completing that internship, she specialized in emergency medicine and worked in several hospitals in the Los Angeles area.

Dr. Fisher was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a one year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. Dr. Fisher's NASA assignments have included the following:

  1. Crew representative to support development and testing of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS).
  2. Crew representative to support development and testing of payload bay door contingency EVA procedures, the extra-small Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), and contingency on-orbit TPS repair hardware and procedures.
  3. Verification of flight software at the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) -- in that capacity she reviewed test requirements and procedures for ascent, on-orbit, and RMS software verification -- and served as a crew evaluator for verification and development testing for STS-2, 3 and 4.

For STS-5 through STS-7 Dr. Fisher was assigned as a crew representative to support vehicle integrated testing and payload testing at KSC. In addition, Dr. Fisher supported each Orbital Flight Test (STS 1-4) launch and landing (at either a prime or backup site) as a physician in the rescue helicopters, and provided both medical & operational inputs to the development of rescue procedures. Dr. Fisher was also an on-orbit CAPCOM for the STS-9 mission.

Dr. Fisher was a mission specialist on STS-51A which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 8, 1984. She was accompanied by Captain Frederick (Rick) Hauck (spacecraft commander), Captain David M. Walker (pilot), and fellow mission specialists, Dr. Joseph P. Allen, and Commander Dale H. Gardner. This was the second flight of the orbiter Discovery. During the mission the crew deployed two satellites, Canada's Anik D-2 (Telesat H) and Hughes' LEASAT-1 (Syncom IV-1), and operated the Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME) device, and the 3M Company's Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment. In the first space salvage mission in history the crew also retrieved for return to earth the Palapa B-2 and Westar VI satellites. STS-51A completed 127 orbits of the Earth before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on November 16, 1984. With the completion of her first flight, Dr. Fisher has logged a total of 192 hours in space.

Dr. Fisher was assigned as a mission specialist on STS-61H prior to the Challenger accident. Following the accident she worked as the Deputy of the Mission Development Branch of the Astronaut Office, and as the astronaut office representative for Flight Data File issues. In that capacity she served as the crew representative on the Crew Procedures Change Board. Dr. Fisher served on the Astronaut Selection Board for the 1987 class of astronauts. Dr. Fisher also served in the Space Station Support Office where she worked part-time in the Space Station Operations Branch. She was the crew representative supporting space station development in the areas of training, operations concepts, and the health maintenance facility.

Dr. Fisher returned to the Astronaut Office in 1996 after a few years leave of absence to raise her family. She is currently assigned to the Astronaut Office Operations Planning Branch working on the operational flight data file and training issues in support of the international space station.


Birth Place: New York, New York.
Status: Active.

Born: 1949.08.24.
Spaceflights: 1 .
Total time in space: 7.99 days.

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • NASA Group 8 - 1978 Requirement: pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Nickname: TFNG - Thirty-Five New Guys, also an obscene military phrase. More...

Associated Flights
  • STS-41-H Crew: Hauck, Walker Dave, Allen, Fisher, Gardner, Casserino, Payton. Planned Department of Defense or TDRS deployment shuttle mission. Cancelled due to IUS failure. Backup crew: Joseph. More...
  • STS-51-A Crew: Allen, Fisher, Gardner, Hauck, Walker Dave. Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (Palapa B-2 and Westar Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2. More...
  • STS-61-H Crew: Coats, Blaha, Springer, Buchli, Fisher, Sudarmono Pratiwi, Wood Nigel. Planned shuttle mission for deployment of commercial communications satellites. Cancelled after Challenger disaster. Backup crew: Akbar, Farrimond. More...

Associated Programs
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

  • NASA Astronaut Biographies, Johnson Space Center, NASA, 1995-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Mullane, Mike, Riding Rockets, Scribner, New York, 2006.

Fisher Chronology

1978 January 16 - .
  • NASA Astronaut Training Group 8 selected. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford; Brandenstein; Buchli; Coats; Covey; Creighton; Fabian; Fisher; Gardner; Gibson; Gregory; Griggs; Hart; Hauck; Hawley; Hoffman; Lucid; McBride; McNair; Mullane; Nagel; Nelson; Onizuka; Resnik; Ride; Scobee; Seddon; Shaw; Shriver; Stewart; Sullivan. The group was selected to provide pilot, engineer, and scientist astronauts for space shuttle flights. Recruit women and minorities to introduce diversity into the astronaut corps. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.

    Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. 8,079 applicants, of which half met the basic qualifications. 208 invited for physical tests and interviews. Of the 35 selected, six were women, three were male African-Americans, and one was a male Asian-American.

1984 September - .
1984 November 8 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-19/51-A.
  • STS-51-A - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Allen; Fisher; Gardner; Hauck; Walker, Dave. Payload: Discovery F02 / PLT. Mass: 20,550 kg (45,300 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen; Fisher; Gardner; Hauck; Walker, Dave. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-51-A. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 7.99 days. Decay Date: 1984-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 15382 . COSPAR: 1984-113A. Apogee: 297 km (184 mi). Perigee: 289 km (179 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Manned five crew. First retrieval of two satellites (PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR Vl) for return to earth. Deployed Anik D2, Leasat 2; recovered Westar 6, Palapa B2. Payloads: Telesat (Canada communications satellite)-H with Payload Assist Module (PAM)-D deploy-ment, Syncom IV-1 communications satellite deployment with its unique stage, retrieval of PALAPA B-2 and WESTAR VI communications satellites with PAM-D which failed to ignite on the STS-41-B mission. Manned maneuvering unit (MMU) used for retrieval. Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) experiment.

1984 November 16 - .
1986 June - .
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