For day 4 of our Women’s History Month celebration, we recognize: Dr. Patricia Cowings!
Dr. Patricia Cowings is an aerospace psychophysiologist, a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, and the first American woman to receive training as a scientist astronaut. She is also the inventor of Autogenic-Feedback Training (AFTE), a system and method that was patented by NASA in 1997. Cowings has spent 34 plus years at NASA, serving as a principal investigator for a number of studies, including the Psychophysiological Research Laboratory. Cowings graduated from the University of California in 1973 with her doctorate in psychology before conducting her thesis work at the Rockefeller University in New York. For her thesis work, Cowings developed AFTE as a method of training and treatment for motion sickness in space. Despite being the first American woman to receive scientist astronaut training, Cowings never made it to space. However, through her 34 plus years of service at NASA, Cowings has helped astronauts better adapt to the conditions in space.