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ABOVE & BEYOND: NASA ASTRONAUT KATE RUBINS

Sister Kate Rubins (Kappa Lambda/UC – San Diego) blasted off on July 6 for the International Space Station as a Flight Engineer for Expeditions 48 and 49.

A microbiologist with a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford University, Rubins is set to become the first person to sequence DNA in space. Her research during nearly four months on the space station will also include how living in space affects the human body, especially the skeletal and cardiovascular systems.

Rubins was one of 14 people selected from more than 3,500 applicants for NASA’s 2009 astronaut training class. During her career, she has worked to create therapies for Ebola and Lassa viruses, aided in development of the first smallpox infection model, and conducted research on HIV-1 integration patterns as an undergraduate studying molecular biology at UC – San Diego.

Humans representing more than 95 countries have been living continuously aboard the International Space Station for more than 15 years, working in the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge, test new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Other projects on Rubins’ mission include regulating temperatures aboard spacecraft, tracking ships all over the world, and protecting computers from radiation in space.

Rubins will stay at the space station with crew members from all over the world until late October. Chi Omega is proud to be represented by the 60th woman in space!

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(Left) Sister Kate Rubins; Photo credit: NASA.gov

Newly arrived Expedition 48 crew members on board the International Space Station, Kate Rubins of NASA (right foreground), Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, (center), and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (center, left) are adjusting to station life on orbit. (Photo/caption credit: NASA.gov)

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