Space Forum October 12: The Sew Sisters

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The National Space Society invites you to the next Space Forum

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 9:00 pm to 10:15 pm EST

The Sew Sisters:
The Untold Story of NASA Seamstresses 


Sew Sisters

The Sew Sisters were a group of 18 NASA seamstresses who were highly skilled professionals who played a critical role in the design, construction and maintenance of the space shuttle’s thermal protection system. Like many of the hundreds of thousands of people who have contributed to space shuttle program they toiled in anonymity. Yet their skill, dedication, and commitment to quality were essential to ensuring the orbiters and the astronauts were protected from the heat of atmospheric reentry.

Join this space forum to hear from Jean Wright, a member the Sew Sisters, and the untold story of how these amazing seamstresses crafted the space shuttle’s thermal blankets, mostly by hand, with incredible precision and skill. In a conversational format, Jean will share the inspiring story of how she turned her passion for space and sewing into career that contributed to the success of the space shuttle program. Jean will also share stories from her newly released book, Sew Sister: The Untold Story of Jean Wright and NASA’s Seamstresses. As a special bonus, NSS has secured four autographed copies of Jean’s book which will be given away as virtual door prizes. Don’t miss this fascinating and inspiring space forum that will introduce you to a new area of space technology that was previously untold. Register today for the space forum using the link below.

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Jean Wright was an Aerospace Composite Tech for United Space Alliance (USA) – the prime contractor for NASA’s Space Shuttle Processing. As one of 18 women, she and her co-workers, who dubbed their group, “The Sew Sisters,” were responsible for fabrication, assembly, disassembly, installation and repair of Thermal Protection System (TPS) hardware. Jean worked on the Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery space shuttle missions. She also worked on test parachutes and aft-skirt blankets for the Orion spacecraft.

Now retired, Jean remains involved with NASA as a Docent for the Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center. She is a member of NASA’s Speakers Bureau, representing the organization at civic, professional, educational and public events. Jean educates guests at the KSC Visitor Complex on all things space and does launch support and VIP tours as needed. Jean is currently part of the media, photographing launches as a team member for the space blog, “Space Up-close.”

One of the biggest thrills of her life was being asked by Mark Armstrong to cut and prepare for auction, pieces of historic fabric from the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer that his father, Neil Armstrong, carried to the Moon! Today,  Jean sews custom face masks and apparel- space themed and otherwise. A hardcover picture book about Jean’s life was published this fall. Entitled “Sew Sister: The Untold Story of Jean Wright and NASA’s Seamstresses(Tilbury House Publishers October 3, 2023), it is written and illustrated by Elise Matich.

Register today to reserve your seat and ask your questions. Use the link below.

Register no later than October 12 at 8 pm EST

Past NSS Space Forums and Town Halls may be viewed here.


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Contributors to the NSS Blog are unpaid volunteers. Unless specifically labeled an NSS position or press release, all blog posts represent the views of the author and not of NSS, even if written by an NSS officer.

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