Kathryn C. Thornton Status: Retired 8/17/1952 – Nationality: American Type: Government First Flight: 11/22/1989 Last Flight: 10/20/1995 Kathryn Ryan Cordell Thornton is an American scientist and a former NASA astronaut with over 975 hours in space, including 21 hours of extravehicular activity. She was the associate dean for graduate programs at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, currently a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Launches Space Shuttle Discovery / OV-103 | STS-33 Space Shuttle Endeavour / OV-105 | STS-49 Space Shuttle Endeavour / OV-105 | STS-61 Space Shuttle Columbia / OV-102 | STS-73 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Type: Government Abbreviation: NASA Administration: Administrator: Jim Bridenstine Founded: 1958 Launchers: Space Shuttle | SLS Spacecraft: Orion Country: USA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.