Issaquah astronaut to be honored by state

September 8, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Sept. 8, 2009

Issaquah resident Bonnie Dunbar, the first female astronaut from Washington, will be immortalized by a state oral-history project.

Dunbar, president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, will tell her life story to researchers from The Legacy Project, a program established last year to document the lives of noteworthy Washingtonians.

A ceremony commemorating Dunbar will be held at 2 p.m. today at the museum. Watch the ceremony live on TVW or on the Web.

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Dunbar became a NASA astronaut in August 1981. A veteran of five space flights, she logged more than 50 days in space, according to her NASA biography. Her mission highlights include serving on the first space shuttle mission to dock with the Russian space station, Mir, in June 1995.

“It is a real treat for Washingtonians and people around the globe to learn more about the Bonnie Dunbar story,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a news release. “She literally saw that the sky was the limit, and through an excellent work-ethic, a top-notch education and family support, she excelled in a male-dominated field and flew five missions in space.

“As an astronaut and now as director of the amazing Museum of Flight, she provides a stellar role model for young people everywhere.”

The secretary of state’s office established The Legacy Project.

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