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[b]The Rita Rapp - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Collection[/b]
[i]A Brief History in Honor of my Relative[/i]
Rita Rapp, born in Piqua, Ohio, graduated from the University of Dayton and the St. Louis University Graduate School. She began her aerospace medical career in 1956 at the U.S. Air Force Resource Laboratory at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a research psychologist.
She joined the NASA Space Task Group at Langley Field in 1961, and was among the early pioneers of the space program, transferring to the NASA Manned Space Craft Center in Houston, Texas, in 1962. She participated in manned launches dating from the first Mercury missions through the Space Shuttle program.
Rita was responsible for the design and development of food and packaging systems that evolved through basic and applied research into a unique food system, used on many NASA missions. Her experience with food and packaging systems for individual astronauts was gained in the course of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs.
She received many awards for her work - among them the Bauer Award, given annually for the most significant contribution in space medicine; the United States Civil Service Commission of the Federal Women's Award; the University of Dayton Distinguished Alumni Award; two NASA Exceptional Service Medals; and numerous commendations and achievement awards, as well as testimonials from NASA astronauts. She authored and co-authored over twenty scientific papers and reports.
Rita Rapp died on July 12, 1989, following a lengthy illness.
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