2 Upstate women part of NASA’s Artemis 1 Mission

The Clemson University graduates are making out-of-this-world history.

NASA's Vanessa Wyche and Charlie Blackwell-Thompson

Vanessa Whyche (left) + Charlie Blackwell-Thompson (right) | Photos via NASA by Bill Ingalls and Cory Huston

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What does NASA have to do with the Upstate? You should actually be asking “who?”

Two Clemson University graduates are part of the Artemis 1 Mission, one that launched last month as part of a series of missions that “will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.”

Vanessa Wyche

SC native Vanessa Wyche (CU undergraduate class of 1985, Masters graduate class of 1987) serves as the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and oversees activities related to human spaceflight, like construction of Orion, the Artemis 1 mission spacecraft. Vanessa is NASA’s first African American female to be director of the center.

Charlie Blackwell-Thompson

Gaffney native Charlie Blackwell-Thompson (CU class of 1988) serves as the launch director for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program, Exploration Systems Development Division, and the Artemis 1 launch. Charlie is NASA’s first female launch director.

The Artemis 1 Mission returned to earth Sunday, Dec. 11 after 25 days in space.

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