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Shannon Lucid

Satisfactory Essays
Shannon Lucid

Ever since children have dared to dream, they have always dreamt of

going to the moon or to the stars. For the millions of children who dream this,

only an infinitely small portion actually achieve this goal. In 1943 in war-

torn China, a girl was born who had this same dream. Her name was Shannon Lucid.

She was born in 1943 to a Baptist preacher, Joseph Oscar Wells and

Myrtle Wells, a nurse. At 6 months of age she and her parents were sent to a

prison camp by the Japanese. Only a year later were they safe in American arms

after they were traded for Japanese POW's. After the war they went back to

China, but in 1949 they were forced to leave when the communists took over.

They then settled in Bethany, Oklahoma.

She always had the dream that someday she would be a space explorer.

People thought her crazy for this dream though, because the United

States didn't even have a space program. After graduating from Bethany High

School in 1960 she got her pilot's license. In regard to her dream she said,

"the Baptists wouldn't let women preach, so I had to become an astronaut to get

closer to God than my father." By this time America already had a space program.

She could not believe that of the first seven Mercury astronauts, none were

females. This is just one more instance she complained of discrimination of

women in traditionally male held occupations. She experienced the same thing

when she tried unsuccessfully to become a commercial pilot. So from Œ66-'68 she

worked at Kerr-Mcgee Corp. as a chemist. This is also where she met her

husband Michael Lucid. After she was married she returned to school at the

University of Oklahoma, where she earned her B.S. in Chemistry. One interesting

occurrence after the birth of her daughter, the very next day she took a

biochemistry exam, which her instructor had expected her to make up later.

Three years later she finally had a chance to fulfill her dream by

getting into the space program. The program was now allowing women. She

"scrambled" to get her application in and was accepted as one of the first six

female astronauts. These women had to go through rigorous testing and they

proved that it doesn't take a Y chromosome to have "The Right Stuff".

Her greatest accomplishment to date is she has spent the most time in

space of any American. She spent 188 days and 65,454,841 miles in space. She

is truly a tribute to sheer will power.
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