NASA在其整个历史中的成功归功于许多科学家和技术专家的工作，他们为该机构的许多成功做出了贡献。 Beth A. Brown博士就是其中一个人，一个梦想从幼儿时期开始研究恒星的天体物理学家。她作为第一位获得博士学位的黑人女性的遗产在密歇根大学的天文学。 Beth Brown博士于1969年7月15日出生于弗吉尼亚州罗阿诺克，从小就对科学感兴趣。她和她的父母，弟弟和一位年长的堂兄一起长大。贝丝经常谈到她如何喜欢科学，因为她总是对某些事情的运作方式以及为什么存在某些东西感到好奇。她参加了小学和初中的科学博览会，但虽然太空让她着迷，但她选择的项目与天文学毫无关系。布朗博士在看星际迷航，星球大战以及其他关于太空的节目和电影时长大。事实上，她经常谈论星际迷航多少影响了她对太空的兴趣。她经常引用高中时通过望远镜观看环状星云作为她决定追求天文学作为职业的动力。她也有兴趣成为一名宇航员。她以优异成绩毕业于霍华德大学，并于1991年获得天体物理学学士学位，并在物理学研究生课程中待了一年。虽然她更像是一名物理专业而不是天文专业，但她决定将天文学作为一种职业，因为它引起了她的兴趣。由于D.C.离NASA很近，布朗能够在戈达德太空飞行中心做几次暑期实习，在那里她获得了研究经验。她的一位教授让她了解了成为一名宇航员所需要的以及在太空中的感受。她发现她近视的视力会伤害她成为宇航员的机会，并且在狭窄的地方不是很有吸引力。布朗接着进入了密歇根大学天文系的博士课程。她教了几个实验室，共同创建了一个关于天文学的短期课程，花时间在基特峰国家天文台（亚利桑那州）观察，在几个会议上进行了展示，并花时间在一个也有天文馆的科学博物馆工作。布朗博士于1994年获得天文学硕士学位，然后继续完成她的论文（关于椭圆星系）。 1998年12月20日，她获得了博士学位，这是第一位获得该系天文学博士学位的非洲裔美国女性。
The success of NASA throughout its history is due to the work of many scientists and technical experts who contributed to the many successes of the agency. Dr. Beth A. Brown was one of those people, an astrophysicist who dreamed of studying the stars from early childhood. Her legacy as the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Michigan. Dr. Beth Brown was born in Roanoke, VA on July 15, 1969, and had an interest in science from an early age. She grew up with her parents, younger brother, and an older cousin. Beth often talked about how she liked science because she was always curious about how something worked and why something existed. She participated in science fairs in elementary school and junior high, but although space fascinated her, she chose projects that had nothing to do with astronomy. Dr. Brown grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars, and other shows and movies about space. In fact, she often talked about how much Star Trek influenced her interest in space. She often cited seeing the Ring Nebula through a telescope when she was in high school as the impetus for her decision to pursue astronomy as a career. She was also interested in being an astronaut. She attended Howard University, where she graduated summa cum laude, receiving a BS in astrophysics in 1991, and remained there for another year in the physics graduate program. Although she had been more a physics major than an astronomy major, she decided to pursue astronomy as a career because it piqued her interest. Because of D.C.’s close proximity to NASA, Brown was able to do a couple of summer internships at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where she gained research experience. One of her professors made her look into what it takes to become an astronaut and what it is like to be in space. She discovered that her near-sighted vision would hurt her chances of being an astronaut and that being in cramped quarters wasn’t very appealing. Brown next entered the doctoral program at the University of Michigan’s Department of Astronomy. She taught several labs, co-created a short course on astronomy, spent time observing at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (in Arizona), presented at several conferences, and spent time working at a science museum that also had a planetarium. Dr. Brown received her MS in Astronomy in 1994, then went on to finish her thesis (on the subject of elliptical galaxies). On December 20, 1998, she received her Ph.D., the first African-American woman to obtain a doctorate in astronomy from the department.