Published on : Monday, December 9, 2019
Princess Cruises has christened its newest ship, Sky Princess today in a moving tribute to the pioneering women of the U.S. Space Program who represent crowning achievements in science, research and technology through innovation and their desire to explore the far reaches of the sky.
Princess Cruises chose the theme of Reach for the Sky for the occasion, and honored two women of NASA for their achievements in the U.S. space programme: Captain Kay Hire, and engineer Poppy Northcutt, who served as the godmothers of Sky Princess.
Captain Hire began her 30-year NASA career as a mechanical systems engineer, helping to launch more than 40 space missions. Then, as an astronaut, she logged 700 hours in space, flew over 12 million miles, and orbited the earth 475 times. She was the first female assigned to a military combat flight crew while serving in the U.S. Navy. And, she retired from the U.S. Navy with more 35 years of service. Poppy Northcutt served as the first female mission control engineer when NASA made history with its mission to the moon. When the crew of Apollo 13 became stranded in their service module, it was her team’s calculations that brought them home safely – a feat of heroism that earned the entire mission operations a Presidential Medal of Freedom Team Award.
Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said that as they celebrate their newest, most technologically advanced ship – one whose spirit of adventure and discovery match the grandeur of her name, Sky Princess, we also applaud the groundbreaking women of the U.S. Space Program. Our godmothers, Captain Kay Hire and Poppy Northcutt, remind us all of what we can achieve when we reach for the sky.
Sky Princess Captain Heikki Laakkonen also recognized two Sky Princess female officers who embody the Reach for the Sky theme, striving for success in leadership positions –Kerry Ann Wright, who started working in the cruise industry as a spa technician and went back to school to rise through the ranks to become a Second Officer working on the bridge; and Chief Security Officer Susan Morgan, who is the longest serving woman in the British Royal Navy.
Captain Hire and Poppy Northcutt, recited the traditional cruise ship blessing before pushing a NASA-style “launch” button releasing and smashing a 15-liter bottle of champagne, officially naming Sky Princess.