British NASA star tells Desert Island Discs of how parents inspired her

Hitchin-born Dr Nicola Fox, 54, is only the second woman to hold the post since the space agency was founded in 1958.

She told Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs her father Eric, an engineer at Vauxhall, had followed all the NASA astronaut programmes.

She added: “It was important for him that ‘I knew where I was’ when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. So obviously at eight months old, I had no idea but I know the memory. He came and gave me a running commentary throughout. He would often say, ‘Just imagine what it would be like to work for NASA’.”

But it was her bank worker mother Doreen who told her “You can always do whatever you want as long as you work hard enough”.
Dr Fox said: “She may not have dreamt of walking on the moon.

“But she would make sure I had every opportunity that she could provide if I wanted to walk on the moon.”

Desert Island Discs, Radio 4, 11.15 am today


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