Wendy Lawrence was born on July 2, 1959, in Jacksonville, Florida. She entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977, graduating and gaining a commission as an Ensign in the Navy on May 27, 1981. Lawrence was a distinguished flight school graduate and was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1982. After rotary-wing aircraft training, she flew H-46 Sea Knight and SH-2H Seasprite helicopters throughout most of the 1980's. Lawrence served as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy from October 1990 to August 1992. She then reported to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and after a year of training, was assigned as a mission specialist astronaut with NASA. Her first space flight was on STS-67 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour (OV-105) from March 2-18, 1995. Lawrence next flew on STS-86 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104) from September 25 to October 6, 1997. Her third flight into space was on STS-91 aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) from June 2-12, 1998. Capt Lawrence's final space flight was on STS-114, also aboard Discovery, from July 26 to August 9, 2005. She retired from NASA in June 2006, and from the U.S. Navy on September 1, 2006. During her time with NASA, Capt Lawrence completed 4 space flights and logged over 1,225 hours in space. Wendy is the daughter of former Vietnam POW, and retired Navy Vice Admiral, William P. Lawrence, who was a Project Mercury astronaut candidate in the late 1950's.
Her 1st (of 2) Defense Superior Service Medal Citation reads:
Lieutenant Commander Wendy B. Lawrence, United States Navy, distinguished herself by exceptionally superior service as Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, from 2 March 1995 to 18 March 1995. Commander Lawrence served as a Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-67. Her thorough preparation and exceptional knowledge of Orbiter and payload systems permitted the successful and safe completion of this ambitious scientific mission. The distinctive accomplishments of Commander Lawrence reflect great credit upon herself, the United States Navy, and the Department of Defense.