Susan Kilrain – Keynote Speaker

Photo by: NASA


Friday, April 26, 2024

5:00 – 11:00 PM | 1700 – 2300 hrs.

You must purchase a ticket to attend.


NASA Astronaut, Navy Test Pilot, Author, Mom

“You can be anything you want to be.”

Commander Susan Kilrain is a renowned astronaut, a distinguished navy test pilot, and author. She is the youngest person, and one of only three women, to pilot the space shuttle. She served 20 years in the navy, paving the way for women. She has flown more than 3,000 flight hours in over 30 different aircraft, and she was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal. Susan flew as pilot of STS-83 and STS-94, spending more than 20 days in space. Her first mission was cut short due to a potentially life-threatening shuttle system failure.

When not training for a space flight, she worked in Mission Control during the launches and landings for other space shuttle missions. She has also worked at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC in the offices of Safety and Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining the Navy, Susan was a wind tunnel project officer at Lockheed Corporation and earned her master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Susan is currently a motivational speaker, venture partner, and consultant, specializing in encouraging young women and underprivileged teens to excel in STEM careers. She has been a board member for private companies, universities, and non-profits. She is currently a Partner at New North Ventures.

Susan has recently written a children’s book, An Unlikely Astronaut.

Susan is married to retired Vice Admiral Colin Kilrain, who served 39 years in the Navy as a SEAL, Military Advisor to the Director of the CIA, and the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They have 4 children and reside in Virginia Beach, VA. She is an avid photographer, astronomer, and world traveler.


Susan Kilrain | Astronaut Speaker

An Unlikely Astronaut is the true story of how Astronaut Susan Kilrain overcame all obstacles to achieve her dream of flying in space when no American woman had. She wrote the book in hopes of encouraging other kids to reach for the stars even if
the odds are against them.

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