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Blue Dot: NASA's first nurse: a conversation with Dee O'Hara


As part of our ongoing Apollo@50 series, Dave visits with Dee O'Hara, the "nurse to the astronauts." Hired by NASA in November 1959, Dee was a pivotal health care provider, deeply trusted by the astronauts and their families.

From The Right Stuff original Mercury 7 astronauts like John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Wally Schirra, through the Apollo astronauts from the first man to walk on the Moon (Neil Armstrong) to the last (Gene Cernan), Dee O'Hara was there, and a legendary part of that early spaceflight history. From taking blood samples right before launch to treating astronaut kids for ear infections, Dee was one of NASA's most trusted persons.

And she is STILL working for NASA a few times a week to this day at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Amazing stories about the pioneering days of the space program, Dee O'Hara's conversation with Dave is a must for anyone interested in NASA's early tragedies and triumphs.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.