Whitson joins Texas Aviation Hall of Fame

Peggy Whitson

Astronaut and Rice alumna Peggy Whitson ’86 was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame on April 12 at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Houston’s Ellington Field.

Through tears, Whitson quoted Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” One giant she was referring to was fellow inductee and NASA Mission Control creator Christopher C. Kraft; the other was guest speaker and retired NASA flight director Gene Kranz.

Whitson, who earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Rice and serves as an adjunct associate professor of biosciences, set a new mark for spacewalks by a woman when she made her eighth in 2017; she finished her career with 10. Her cumulative spacewalking total of 60 hours, 21 minutes is the fourth-most in history.

Along with Whitson and Kraft, H. Ross Perot Jr. and the late Gen. Ira C. Eaker were inducted into hall of fame.

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.