It is such a treat to showcase one of our biggest supporters, Susan Roy.
How would someone describe you?
I’m a person who pursues her passions, which often turn into obsessions. I’ve always been obsessed with space travel. I went to U.S. Space Camp in the 1980s, during one of the first sessions offered to adults, and wrote about it for Savvy magazine. I’ve witnessed a Shuttle launch. Five years ago I went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center where I visited Mission Control and sat in Gene Kranz’s chair. That (metaphorically) launched me into my pursuit of all things space, including taking a Zero-G flight.
What are your favorite activities?
Meeting Apollo astronauts and traveling to important space sites, from Kennedy Space Center to the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. I’m proud to have stood on the launchpads from where we Earthlings launched the first human into space (Baikonur) and sent the first of our kind to the moon (Pad 39-A at KSC). I’m working on a book about the history of our space program and my experiences.
“Girls should be taking up MORE space!“
Of what contribution or achievement are you most proud?
Earning my master’s degree in architectural history from Columbia University, and publishing a book based on my thesis about family fallout shelters during the Cold War (“Bomboozled: How the U.S. Government Misled Itself and Its People into Believing They Could Survive a Nuclear Attack”).
Who has influenced you?
Rusty Schweickart, the Apollo 9 astronaut who got the rare opportunity to spend five minutes outside his spacecraft with no tasks to accomplish. He chose to absorb everything he could, and years later gave a phenomenally touching, inspiring and profound talk about his experience. It’s called “No Frames, No Boundaries” and you can find it at rustyschweickart.com. It’s a beautiful description of the cosmic perspective. The lesson: Keep looking up!
What’s surprising about you?
I’ve spent twenty-five years in New York working as a magazine editor, on a variety of titles (SELF, Avenue, This Old House, Allure, Continental Profiles, and more).
Why are you supporting Girls Taking Up Space?
Girls should be taking up MORE space! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to give a young girl an experience which she otherwise would not have. It will expand her perspective and open her eyes to remarkable possibilities. Ideally, it will change her life.
As the Taking Up Space program director, I am personally indebted to Susan. While relocating to San Diego, I was considering putting the program on a short hiatus. Then in June, while celebrating the Apollo 11 anniversary in New York, I was lucky enough to meet Susan Roy. She struck me as a quiet person with a kind smile. We were invited to the University Club for the Apollo 11 luncheon, and it was there where Susan lent me her ear, and did something I never would have expected. I told her I wasn’t going to send the Pascua Yaqui girls to Space Camp in 2019, because I hadn’t yet raised the funds. Without hesitation she said, “I’ll donate.”
I think my jaw dropped. With her help, I could then go to the tribe and ask for matching funding. It was Susan who motivated me, it was Susan who believed in the cause, and it was Susan who helped brush off the dust to get us started. In as little as two months, with the help of individual donations, the PY tribe, Space Hipsters, and Tucson Federal Credit Union, we raised close to $9,000. Unbelievable! I’m still scratching my head at all of this. We leave in a few days, and I couldn’t be more in awe of the overwhelming support. All in thanks to Susan Roy.