September 30, 2005

Doug Peterson
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington

Release: #J05-038


Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar (Ph.D.), a veteran of five space shuttle flights, retired from NASA today to become president and chief executive officer of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.

Dunbar flew on shuttle missions in 1985, 1990, 1992, 1995, and 1998, spending more than 50 days in space. She played key science roles in each mission, including the STS-61-A Spacelab, STS-50 Microgravity Lab-1, and STS-32 Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) retrieval missions. Two of her missions, STS-71 and STS-89, visited the Russian space station Mir. She was selected for the astronaut class of 1980, only the second group of astronauts specifically chosen to fly the space shuttle.

In addition to astronaut assignments, Dunbar’s 27-year career at NASA included serving as a flight controller and payload officer. She also held management positions at NASA Headquarters and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, including five years as the assistant director for University Research at Johnson.

“As one of NASA’s early shuttle astronauts, Bonnie helped pave the way for women taking key roles in space exploration,” said Flight Crew Operations Director Ken Bowersox. “She’s done it all, from technical research to spaceflight to motivating young people about science.”

For more biographical information about Dunbar on the Web, visit:

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