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HandWiki. Susan Kilrain. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 22 June 2024).
HandWiki. Susan Kilrain. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 22, 2024.
HandWiki. "Susan Kilrain" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 22, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, December 02). Susan Kilrain. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Susan Kilrain." Encyclopedia. Web. 02 December, 2022.
Susan Kilrain

1. Introduction

Susan Kilrain (born October 24, 1961) is an engineer, a former United States Navy officer, and a former NASA astronaut.

2. Personal and Educational Data

Kilrain was born in Augusta, Georgia, as Susan Leigh Still to Dr. Joseph Still, M.D. and his wife, Jean Ann Batho; she has nine siblings. Her father was a prominent burn surgeon who founded and directed the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. Kilrain graduated from the Walnut Hill School, Natick, Massachusetts, in 1979. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering and received her Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985.

She is married to Vice Admiral Colin Kilrain, who is currently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Special Operations Commander Headquartered in Belgium. Kilrain and her husband have four children, and reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[1] She is active as a motivational speaker, presenting mostly to schools and universities. Her main message is "Live Your Dream" - anyone can become an astronaut.[2]

3. Military Career

After graduation, Kilrain worked as a wind tunnel project officer for Lockheed Corporation in Marietta, Georgia, and earned her graduate degree. She was commissioned into the U.S. Navy in 1985 and designated a Naval Aviator in 1987. Kilrain was selected to be a flight instructor in the TA-4J Skyhawk, and later flew EA-6A Electric Intruders for Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 33 (VAQ-33) in Key West, Florida. After completing U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, she reported to Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for F-14 Tomcat training. Kilrain has logged over 3,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.

4. NASA Career

Kilrain reported to the Johnson Space Center as an Astronaut Candidate in March 1995. Following a year of training, she worked technical issues for the Vehicle Systems and Operations Branch of the Astronaut Office. She also served as spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in mission control during launch and entry for numerous missions. A veteran of two space flights, she logged nearly 472 hours in space. She flew as pilot on STS-83 (April 4 to April 8, 1997) and STS-94 (July 1 to July 17, 1997). She was most recently the Legislative Specialist for Shuttle, for the Office of Legislative Affairs at NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C. Kilrain retired from the Astronaut Office in December 2002 and from the U.S. Navy in 2005.[3]

4.1. Space Flight Experience

Kilrain's first mission, STS-83, was cut short because of problems with one of the Shuttle's three fuel cell power generation units. Mission duration was 95 hours and 12 minutes, traveling 1.5 million miles in 63 orbits of the Earth. Mission STS-94 was a re-flight of the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL-1) Spacelab mission, and focused on materials and combustion science research in microgravity. Mission duration was 376 hours and 45 minutes, traveling 6.3 million miles in 251 orbits of the Earth.

5. Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Graduate of Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School
  • Distinguished Graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Class 103
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Navy Achievement Medal
  • NASA Space Flight Medals (2)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award (by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce)
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Lehigh - Colin Kilrain". 
  2. "News". 
  3. "Astronaut Bio: Susan Still-Kilrain 6/02". 
Name: Susan Kilrain
Born: Oct 1961
Augusta, Georgia
Title: Test Pilot
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
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Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 02 Dec 2022
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