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Filipina who dreamed big: Space scientist Angelita Castro-Kelly, 73

MANILA – The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) has paid tribute to space scientist Angelita Castro-Kelly, who passed away last week in the US.

The multi-awarded Pinay succumbed to lupus complications on June 7, at the age of 73. She is survived by her husband and three children.

“The PCW is grateful to Castro-Kelly for inspiring ‘Juanas’ to dream big and prove that women are equally competent and capable as men, particularly in the traditionally male-dominated field of Science and Technology,” the PCW said in a statement.

Kelly became the first woman to ever hold the position of Mission Operations Manager (MOM) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Prior to serving as MOM for the Earth Observing System (EOS) Program, “Kelly also was the project manager of the highly successful Shuttle/Spacelab Data Processing Facility, which she helped develop,” the NASA book “Women of Goddard” stated.

Kelly grew up in Sampaloc, Manila and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Santo Tomas in 1962. She graduated with the highest Latin honor, summa cum laude.

The Pinay scientist was a recipient of the 1993 Presidential Award “Pamana ng Bayan” for Science and Technology and belongs to the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the United States.


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