Interview: Dee O’Hara

We met Dee O’Hara, the first nurse to NASA’s first astronauts, last year when we visited Kennedy Space Center for Discovery‘s not-launch. At first, O’Hara was a little hesitant to be on camera, but she opened up so that we could capture some of our conversation in the video below.

Dee O’Hara was born in Idaho in 1935 and was educated and trained as a nurse in Oregon. She became an Air Force nurse in 1959, and she talks here about how she made her way to NASA and the Mercury program. O’Hara retired from NASA in 1997 but continued to volunteer at the Ames Human Research Center in California. A book about her, called Dee O’Hara: The Astronauts’ Nurse, was published in 1965 but is now out of print.

What we appreciated most about talking with Dee O’Hara was her enthusiasm for pursuing her goals and appreciating the timing of her life’s successes. It was great to see her still hanging out with the astronauts, and supposedly Al Worden has written a poem about her.

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