Spaceflight Insider

Nicole Stott retires from NASA after 27 years of service

Astronaut Nicole P. Stott during training at Johnson Space Center NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Inside

Astronaut Nicole Passonno Stott has announced that she will retire from NASA after 27 years with the space agency. Photo Credit: JSC / NASA

Astronaut Nicole Passonno Stott, a 27 year veteran with NASA, is retiring from the space agency. Stott flew two space missions to the International Space Station (ISS ) including a long-duration stay on board the orbiting lab. Stott will now be pursuing a career as a full-time artist. She also plans to be an advocate for science, technology, engineering, math and art (STEM/STEAM) education.

Nicole Stott was born in Albany, New York, but says she considers Clearwater, Florida, to be her hometown. She received degrees from both Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Central Florida before joining NASA as an operations engineer in the Orbiter Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center.

“NASA’s Flight Operations team wishes Nicole the very best in her new endeavors. Nicole has always cared deeply about America, our youth, and the importance of STEM education and inspiration,” said Brian Kelly, director for the Flight Operations Directorate at Johnson Space Center. “Her positive approach, knowledge, experience and fun style will serve her very well in her future pursuits.”

NASA astronaut Nicole P. Stott Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility STS-133 photo credit Jason Rhian SpaceFlight Insider

Stott began working with the agency at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider

During her time at NASA, Stott has held a variety of positions, starting at Kennedy Space Center. She worked as the Shuttle Flow Director for Endeavour, Orbiter Project Engineer for Columbia, NASA Convoy Commander for space shuttle landings and Vehicle Operations Engineer, preparing space shuttles for their next mission. She she transitioned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston to work as a Flight Simulation Engineer on the Shuttle Training Aircraft, helping train astronaut pilots to land the Space Shuttle.

She was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000 and has held numerous assignments, including as a crew member on the undersea NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 9 mission, for which Stott still holds the women’s world record for the longest saturation dive of 18 days, before being assigned to her first spaceflight mission.

Nicole Stott has flown to space twice. Her first mission was in 2009 traveling on board the Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-128 mission to the ISS for a long duration missions. She spent 91 days aboard the space station. Among her accomplishments at the station were a seven-hour long spacewalk and the first track and capture of a cargo spacecraft.

Her second flight was also on board the Space Shuttle Discovery as a member of the STS-133 crew as a mission specialist. This thirteen-day flight delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the ISS, completing the U.S. station assembly. It was the last flight of Discovery.

Nicole Stott returned to Kennedy for a one-year assignment as the Astronaut Office representative to the Commercial Crew Program and the team responsible for selecting contractors to build our next U.S. human-rated spacecraft. In her most recent assignment at Johnson, Stott served as Chief of the Vehicle Integration Test Office in the Astronaut Office / Flight Operations Directorate. Her last day with NASA was May 31.

The crew of STS-133 pose for pictures at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility  Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott photo credit Jason Rhian SpaceFlight Insider

Stott and her fellow STS-133 crew members pose for pictures during the ramp-up to STS-133 – the last flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider



Joe Latrell is a life-long avid space enthusiast having created his own rocket company in Roswell, NM in addition to other consumer space endeavors. He continues to design, build and launch his own rockets and has a passion to see the next generation excited about the opportunities of space exploration. Joe lends his experiences from the corporate and small business arenas to organizations such as Teachers In Space, Inc. He is also actively engaged in his church investing his many skills to assist this and other non-profit endeavors.

Reader Comments

Daniel Biechler

My Hero! Right up there on my list with Eileen Collens and John Young. Thank you for your service Nicole.

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