Tewksbury Teaches Field Geology to NASA Astronauts

Geosciences Professor Barbara Tewksbury and NASA astronaut candidates.
Geosciences Professor Barbara Tewksbury and NASA astronaut candidates.
In 2009, NASA’s latest group of astronaut candidates began two years of intensive training in a variety of fields. Because one of NASA’s next major goals is a lunar outpost, this group is the first since the Apollo missions to receive training in geology. Hamilton Professor of Geosciences Barbara Tewksbury has been involved for several years in planning the geological training for the aspiring astronaut candidates, and in August she spent several days near Los Alamos, N.M., teaching them how to do geologic field work and mapping.

She and three other geologists used an Apollo-style mentoring approach, where each geologist worked with only two astronauts. Tewksbury worked with Dr. Katherine Rubins, a virologist who will become a mission specialist astronaut after her training, and with Lt. Commander Reid Wiseman, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot, who will become a pilot astronaut. Tewksbury said, “These are truly amazing people – incredibly bright, intensely curious, and highly motivated. And great fun to work with and be around! It’s an honor and a privilege to be involved in this training.”
Back to Top