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Shannon M. W. Lucid
NASA Astronaut
Status Inactive
Born January 14, 1943 (1943-01-14) (age 67)
Shanghai, China
Other occupation Biochemist
Time in space 223d 02h 50m
Selection 1978 NASA Group
Missions STS-51-G, STS-34, STS-43, STS-58, STS-76, Mir NASA-1, STS-79
Mission insignia Sts-51-g-patch.pngSts-34-patch.pngSts-43-patch.pngSts-58-patch.pngSts-76-patch.pngSts-79-patch.jpg

Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid (born January 14, 1943) is an American biochemist and a NASA astronaut. At one time, she held the record for the longest duration stay in space by an American, as well as by a woman. She has flown in space five times including a prolonged mission aboard the Mir space station.


Early life and education

Lucid was born in Shanghai, China, to Baptist missionary parents Oscar and Myrtle Wells, but grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma and graduated from Bethany High School. She attended the University of Oklahoma and obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry from that school in 1973.

She is married to Michael F. Lucid of Indianapolis, Indiana and they have two daughters and one son, and five granddaughters.

NASA career

Dr. Lucid exercises on a treadmill during her stay abord the Mir.

Lucid was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. Of the six women in this first class with female astronauts, Lucid was the only one who was a mother at the time of being hired.

Lucid's first space flight was in June 1985 on Space Shuttle Discovery's mission STS-51-G. She also flew on shuttle missions STS-34 in 1989, STS-43 in 1991, and STS-58 in 1993.

Lucid is best known for her fifth spaceflight, when she spent 188 days in space, from March 22 to September 26, 1996, including 179 days aboard Mir, the Russian space station. Both to and from Mir, she travelled on Space Shuttle Atlantis, launching on STS-76 and returning on STS-79. Her stay on Mir was not expected to last so long but her return was delayed twice, extending her stay by about six weeks. During the mission she performed numerous life science and physical science experiments. As a result of her time aboard Mir, she held the record for the most hours in orbit by a non-Russian and most hours in orbit by a woman. On June 16, 2007, her record for longest duration spaceflight by a woman was exceeded by Sunita Williams aboard the International Space Station.[1][2][3]

From 2002 to 2003, Lucid served as the Chief Scientist of NASA. Since 2005, Lucid has served as CAPCOM (capsule communicator) for a number of Space Shuttle missions, including: STS-114, STS-116, STS-118, STS-120, STS-122, STS-124, STS-126, STS-125, STS-127, STS-128, STS-129, STS-130.

As of January 2008, Lucid has served in Management in the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas[4] and still actively serves as CAPCOM.

Awards and honors

Lucid was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in December 1996, the tenth person and first woman to be given that honor. In 1993 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame. [5]


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