FIRST FEMALE CREW MEMBER OF THE SR-71 AND FIRST FEMAILE PILOT TO BREAK MACH 3
Marta was an extraordinarily talented individual and at the time of her death, September 19, 2005, she was NASA’s Chief Engineer at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force, California. Dryden Center Director, Ken Peterson said that Marta was a most trusted technical expert and manager at NASA Dryden. She committed her life and career to aviation and to the advancement of aeronautics.
Bohn-Meyer had been employed as an aeronautical research and operations engineer at Dryden since 1979, following her graduation from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy , New York , with a Bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. She was appointed Chief Engineer at Dryden in October 2001 after serving in a series of increasingly important positions. Those included, Director of Flight Operations, Director of Safety and Mission Assurance, and Deputy Director of Flight Operations.
Also during her career, Marta worked on a variety of research projects, specializing in flight test operations. She was instrumental in developing test techniques for laminar flow research. Among these projects was flight research of the space shuttle’s thermal protection tiles. She flew the F-104 to conduct these tests.
Marta was assigned as a flight engineer to the SR-71 high-speed flight research program at Dryden. She was the first female SR-71crewmember from NASA, or the U.S. Air Force, and also was the first woman flight crewmember to exceed Mach 3.
Younger youth. Marta Bohn-Meyer’s many accomplishments far exceeded those of most people—she studied hard to earn a degree in aerospace engineering, and then excelled as a researcher for NASA. Her expertise paid off, when she was selected to serve as a crewmember of the famous SR-71 “Blackbird.” Imagine what it would be like to fly higher and faster than almost anyone else on the planet! Marta Bohn Meyer did it, and she did it without ever “getting high” herself. She simply did not need or desire to abuse drugs or alcohol. For her, life itself was a high, and she lived it in grand style. Marta Bohn-Meyer knew full well the advantages of living a drug-free lifestyle. Drug-free: way to be!
Older youth. Marta Bohn-Meyer lived her dream. She knew what she wanted from life, and she was determined to succeed. She had set her sights high, far beyond what most people would ever think about trying to do. Her degree in aeronautical engineering was a first key step in opening doors to a fascinating career and future. But then she had to prove herself to the leadership at NASA, and prove herself she did, especially at a time when most women were expected to be satisfied living at home as a housewife and mother raising children. Her work on NASA research projects demonstrated her technical expertise to higher ups, and she continued to be selected for still more difficult and challenging tasks in increasingly important positions. Even with her many awards, that she was assigned as a crewmember to the SR-71 research program was perhaps the highest compliment possible in recognition of her extensive technical expertise. But had she instead decided to experiment with cocaine or methamphetamine, she would have never been able to accomplish anything significant. There simply is no room in high level research for anyone who foolishly chooses to abuse drugs or alcohol—the stakes are too important, not only for the researcher, but for the advancement of critical aerospace research itself. Marta Bohn-Meyer was intelligent and wise, as well as dedicated and determined to succeed. She realized full well the terrible risks and consequences of substance abuse, and she wisely chose to remain drug-free. Way to be!
Optional for both. Now maybe, just maybe, there sits here among you today one or more who, like Marta Bohn-Meyer, has his or her goals set high, who may one day become yet another highly skilled researcher for NASA. You might very well play a key role in developing commercial travel in space high above the surface of the Earth, or perhaps you might have the opportunity to walk on the surface of planet Mars or beyond. Your future is up to you, if you make the effort to prepare yourself to meet it. And just as importantly, you must also make the decision not to do anything that could jeopardize that opportunity. Marta Bohn Meyer would like that. Drug-free: way to be!
Marta received many honors, including the coveted NASA Exceptional Service Medal for her work in flight operations and project management in flight operations. She was an author and educator and was a frequent participant in educational programs, particularly for girls. She was an outstanding role model for young women interested in entering technical fields.
This curriculum is sponsored by the Drug Demand Reduction
Program of the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Maxwell AFB, Alabama
Famous Fliers | Bohn-Meyer | Bluford | Chang-Diaz | Cochran | Coleman | Crossfield | Dahl | Doolittle | Earhart | Gabreski | Goddard | Jemison | Lindbergh | Ochoa | Quimby | Rickenbacker | Ride | Rutan | Wright | Yeager