Mission and Rank
USAF Colonel and NASA Medical Liason Officer
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The New York-born Cagle had already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments before becoming an astronaut. After receiving her commission as an Air Force officer through San Francisco State University and earning her doctorate in medicine from the University of Washington, she graduated from Brooks Air Force Base’s School of Aerospace Medicine in 1988.
Cagle completed two years of astronaut training and evaluation, qualifying as a mission specialist. After earning her blue astronaut flight suit, she first served in the Astronaut Office Operations Planning branch before taking on a special assignment at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) in Mountain View, California.
She also worked as the lead ARC Astronaut Science Liaison and Relationships Manager for Google and other Silicon Valley Programmatic Partnerships. She helped preserve historic NASA space legacy data while, at the same time, improving NASA’s global mapping, sustainable energies, green initiatives, and disaster preparedness.
In 2017, Cagle had the honor of escorting 98-year-old Katherine Johnson across the country and onto the stage of the 89th Academy Awards. Johnson, a pioneering black mathematician famous for computing the launch window and trajectory for Freedom-7, which made Alan Shepard the first American in space, had been portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures.