Seddon, Rhea (1947–)

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Seddon, Rhea (1947–)

American astronaut. Born Margaret Rhea Seddon in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Nov 8, 1947; served a surgical internship and 3 years of general surgery residency in Memphis, Tennessee; did clinical research into the effects of radiation therapy on nutrition in cancer patients.

Out of the original group of 6 women astronaut trainees, was the 1st to achieve the full rank of astronaut and the 1st to be selected for the space-shuttle program (1979); before initial space mission, worked on orbiter and payload software, functioned as launch and landing rescue helicopter physician, and as technical assistant to the director of Flight Crew Operations; boarded Discovery shuttle for a 168-hour mission (April 12, 1985), which, among other things, made an unscheduled attempt to repair a malfunctioning satellite; had next flight on Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) mission on board Columbia (June 5, 1991), a 9-day mission that explored microgravitational pull on humans and animals.