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First Name: Wendy

Last Name: Lawrence

Birthplace: Jacksonville, FL, USA

Gender: Female

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Barrien

Maiden Name: Lawrence

Date of Birth: 02 July 1959

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Wendy Barrien Lawrence


Wendy Barrien Lawrence
Captain, U.S. Navy
NASA Astronaut

Wendy Barrien Lawrence was born on 2 July 1959 in Jacksonville, FL. She is the daughter and granddaughter of Naval Aviators. Her father was the late Vice Admiral William Porter Lawrence, USN, a former Vietnam Prisoner of War who was Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy during her last three years as a Midshipman.

Lawrence graduated from Fort Hunt High School in Alexandria, VA, in 1977. She went on to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering. She later earned a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1988, as part of a joint program between the two schools.

After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1981, Lawrence became a distinguished flight school graduate and was designated as a Naval Aviator in July 1982. Lawrence has more than 1,500 hours flight time in six different types of helicopters and has made more than 800 shipboard landings. While stationed at Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6), she was one of the first two female helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a Carrier Battle Group. In 1988, she was assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light THIRTY (HSL-30) as Officer-in-Charge of Detachment ALFA. In October 1990, Lawrence reported to the U.S. Naval Academy where she served as a Physics Instructor and the Novice Women's Crew Coach.

NASA Career

Selected by NASA in March 1992, Lawrence reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. She completed one year of training and was qualified for flight assignment as a Mission Specialist. Her technical assignments within the Astronaut Office have included Flight Software Verification in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL), Astronaut Office Assistant Training Officer, and Astronaut Office representative for Space Station training and crew support. She flew as the Ascent/Entry Flight Engineer and Blue Shift Orbit Pilot on STS-67 (2-18 March 1995). She next served as Director of Operations for NASA at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, with responsibility for the coordination and implementation of mission operations activities in the Moscow region for the joint U.S./Russian Shuttle/Mir program. In September 1996, she began training as a backup crew member for a 4-month mission on the Russian Space Station Mir. Because of her knowledge and experience with Mir systems and with crew transfer logistics for the Mir, she flew on STS-86 (25 September to 6 October 1997) and STS-91 (2-12 June 1998). A veteran of four space flights, she logged over 1,200 hours in space. Lawrence was a Mission Specialist on the crew of STS-114. She was in charge of the transfer of supplies and equipment and operated the Space Station robotic arm on the Return To Flight mission during which the crew tested and evaluated new procedures for the inspection and repair of the Shuttle Thermal Protection System. The mission launched on 26 July 2005 and landed on 9 August 2005.

After being the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to fly in space, Captain Lawrence retired from NASA in June 2006.

Spaceflight Experience

STS-67 Endeavour (2-18 March 1995) was the second flight of the ASTRO observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes. During this 16-day mission, the crew conducted observations around the clock to study the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects and the polarization of ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies. Mission duration was 399 hours and 9 minutes.

STS-86 Space Shuttle Atlantis (25 September to 6 October 1997) was the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Highlights included the exchange of U.S. crew members Mike Foale and David Wolf, a spacewalk by Scott Parazynski and Vladimir Titov to retrieve four experiments first deployed on Mir during the STS-76 docking mission, the transfer to Mir of 10,400 pounds of science and logistics, and the return of experiment hardware and results to Earth. Mission duration was 169 orbits in 259 hours and 21 minutes.

STS-91 Discovery (2-12 June 1998) was the 9th and final Shuttle-Mir docking mission and marked the conclusion of the joint U.S./Russian Phase I Program. Mission duration was 235 hours, 54 minutes.

STS-114 Discovery (26 July - 9 August 2005) was the first "Return to Flight" mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Highlights included the first in-flight repair to the orbiter during a spacewalk. Mission duration was 333 hours, 33 minutes.


Lawrence enjoys running, rowing, and triathlons. Captain Lawrence is unmarried.


Phi Kappa Phi

Association of Naval Aviation

Women Military Aviators

Naval Helicopter Association

Special Honor

Recipient of the National Navy League's Captain Winifred Collins Award for inspirational leadership (1986).

Medals and Awards

Defense Superior Service Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

NASA Space Flight Medal

Navy Commendation Medal

Navy Achievement Medal

Honoree ID: 2740   Created by: MHOH




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