Episode 162: How Do You Dress an Astronaut?

Meet the Expert:   Sharon McDougle, former NASA Spacesuit Technician

Sharon McDougleSharon Caples McDougle is regarded as a “modern day hidden figure”. She joined the NASA family working in the Space Shuttle Crew Escape Equipment (CEE) department. She began her career as a CEE SuitTechnician and was responsible for processing the orange launch/entry suit assemblies worn by astronauts.

McDougle was one of only two women technicians and the only African American technician when she began her career.Everyone knows Dr. Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to go to space – but many don’t know that an African American woman, with her own list of firsts, “suited her up”. McDougle was Jemison’s suit tech for her historic mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

McDougle was promoted to the position of Crew Chief making her the first woman and first African American CEE Crew Chief. In her new position she was responsible for leading a team of technicians to suit up astronaut crews. McDougle had the honor of leading the first and only all-woman suit tech crew. She would go on to become the only woman and only African American promoted to the position of Manager of the CEE department. She led the team responsible for suiting up and strapping the astronauts into the space shuttle for launch and recovering the crew upon landing. She held this position until the Space Shuttle Program ended. She continued working to help close-out the program, ending an illustrious 22-year career ith our nation’s space program.

Shardon Dressing Astronaut Mae Jemison  Sharon dressing Astronaut Charlie Bolden

Sharon dressing Astronaut Mae Jemison                    Sharon dressing Astronaut Charlie Bolden


Sharon now does motivational speaking and has written her own picture book!!!

Website: www.sharoncaplesmcdougle.com   

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/SharonMcDougle




Design your own spacesuit! What would you add, or leave off?

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Suit Up With Shay book

Highlighted Book for this Episode! 

Suit Up For Launch With Shay! by Sharon Caples McDougle (Author), Cristielle Pimenta (Illustrator)







Book List:

Spacecare: A Kid’s Guide to Surviving Space by Jennifer Swanson

Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact by Jennifer Swanson

The Astronaut’s Guide to Leaving the Planet: Everything You Need to Know, from Training to Re-Entry by Terry Virts (Author)

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