We are very lucky to have Dorothy “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger as our presenter at the next Monthly Dinner event at Hart House at Deer Lake Park. While you are counting down for the event take a moment to learn more about this out-of-this-world speaker!




Meeting an Astronaut

Dottie is an astronaut who was a mission specialist with NASA on the International Space Station and on the Space Shuttle on STS-131. She also has a passion for science education, especially Geology and entomology. While teaching high school science, she was selected by NASA as a Mission Specialist and spent two years in training. After her space flight, she worked as a Cape Crusader for the final three shuttle missions. In June 2012, she commanded the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16. In this underwater habitat, the international crew of four aquanauts and two habitat technicians carried out simulated spacewalks to investigate the techniques and tools that may be used at Near Earth Asteroids.


Q&A with Dottie

When you think back to the 15 days, 2 hours, 47 mins and 10 secs in space what one moment really stood out to you?

My first daytime pass across the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Texas - each of these places I have considered home, and I got to see them in a very different way.


What things were you not prepared for when in space?

Pictures have a boundary for capturing the beauty of the earth; in space you can look out of the Cupola and have a hemisphere of beauty before you.

Taking care of your hair, teeth, etc. is more challenging because you don’t practice this in simulations!

The sense of teamwork in action while solving problems will be deeper than almost anything you experience again.


What would you tell your 30-year-old self?

Set boundaries – you cannot do it all and have it all at the same time.

Make sure you have a trusted confidant that will listen to you and provide honest feedback.


How does being the lead singer of an all-astronaut rock band compare to being a part of an all-astronaut crew on ISS?

Well, let’s just say I’m glad I had a day job ;-). But seriously, music is remembering that you are a team, and that you are trying to make something great (or danceable) as a team. There will be mistakes but if you can share the load or just move on, most people will never notice.


When you think of the word successful who comes to mind and why?

I have a minor in history and so I am constantly reading about the past. I think that success is often doing what is hard or not popular. Therefore, I can think of many people that I consider successful and admirable, and as I work through books, the list gets longer and longer.


What books have you gifted or recommended to someone else and why?


Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, because it takes you through the real places you will go in life. It maintains a creative and positive approach to the reality of waiting, sorrow, and feeling lost.



Rising Strong by Brené Brown, because it looks at how we can communicate with vulnerability and honesty, how we will make mistakes or have tragedies impact our life, but how we can be better people in living an authentic life.


Do you have any particular morning routines?

I usually run or workout with a good friend (early – 0530). Then I come home to have coffee and walk my daughter to the bus stop; Winnie (our dog) and I continue on from there for another mile or so, while I listen to National Public Radio.


Thank you Dottie for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better. We are looking forward to your talk at the Hart House. The countdown is on!

For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event or to register please click below.