For day 12 of our Women’s History Month celebration, we recognize: Dr. Yvonne Cagle!
Dr. Yvonne Cagle is a NASA Astronaut, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and medical physician. Born on April 24, 1959, in West Point, NY, Yvonne Darlene Cagle shared an early interest in space. At the age of 13, she had the opportunity to interview an astronomer for a school assignment which sparked her curiosity for space. After earning her medical degree from the University of Washington in 1985, Cagle reported for active duty at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. While serving active duty, Cagle was chosen for a flight surgeon program at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas. In 1988, Cagle received her certification and a year later, she served as the Air Force’s Medical Liaison for NASA’s Atlantis mission. As a medical liaison, Cagle waited at the landing site of the mission in Banjul, West Africa as the Atlantis crew tested the Magellan spacecraft. Aside from working with the Atlantis mission, she also worked on high-profile NASA projects which included an extensive study of astronaut’s health. In 1996, one of Cagle’s dreams came true: she was selected as an astronaut candidate. After completing two years of training and qualifying as a mission specialist, Cagle served in the Astronaut Office Operations Planning branch and as a science liaison for NASA’s Ames Research Center. In 2009, Cagle retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel. Following her retirement, Cagle continued to serve the public, inspire the next wave of astronauts, and educate young women and people of color on the career choices in STEM. In 2017, Cagle had the opportunity to escort Katherine Johnson to the 89th Academy Awards. She also delivered the keynote address at NASA’s tribute to Johnson on her 100th birthday.