The first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft
(Black PR Wire) Dr. Sian Proctor is the first Black astronaut had the opportunity of a lifetime after traveling to space with Elon Musk’s SpaceX first all civilian crewed mission team.
As part of the Inspiration4 team, Dr. Proctor is the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft. She is also one of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World. Her motto is called Space2inspire where she encourages people to use their unique, one-of-a-kind strengths, and passion to inspire those within their reach and beyond. She believes that we need to actively strive for a J.E.D.I. space: a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive space as we advance human spaceflight.
She uses her afrofuturism space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry. She’s also an analog astronaut and has completed four analog missions including the all-female SENSORIA Mars 2020 mission at the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Habitat, the NASA funded 4-months Mars mission at HI-SEAS, a 2-weeks Mars mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), and a 2-weeks Moon mission in the LunAres Habitat. She believes that when we solve for space, we also solve issues on Earth. She promotes sustainable food practices used in space exploration as a way to reduce food waste on Earth. She has a TEDx talk called Eat Like a Martian and published the Meals for Mars Cookbook. Dr. Proctor was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program and got down to the Yes/No phone call which came from Astronaut Sunita Williams. She is an international speaker who enjoys engaging in educational outreach. She is a continuing NASA Solar System Ambassador and serves on the Explore Mars Board of Directors, JustSpace Alliance Advisory Board, the Science in the Wild Advisory Board, the SEDS USA Advisory Board, and the National Science Teaching Association’s Aerospace Advisory Board. In 2019, she was the science communication outreach officer on the JOIDES Resolution Expedition 383 and spent 2-months at sea with researchers investigating the Dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. She also participated in the 2-week faculty development seminar Exploring Urban Sustainability in India. She was a 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea, a 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador (ACEAP), and a 2014 PolarTREC Teacher investigating climate change in Barrow, Alaska. She is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and serves as a member of the Arizona Wing Aerospace Education Officer.
Dr. Proctor spent 21 years as a professor teaching geology, sustainability, and planetary science at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently the Open Educations Resource Coordinator for the Maricopa Community College District. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science, an M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education. She recently finished a sabbatical at Arizona State University’s Center for Education Through Exploration creating virtual field trips. She did her 2012-13 sabbatical at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute developing their science of disasters curriculum. She has appeared in multiple international science shows and is currently on A World Without NASA and Strange Evidence. You can follow her on social media @DrSianProctor.