Remembering Constance Adams―National Geographic Explorer, Space Architect, and Nia Dancer

We remember our Nia sister, Constance Adams, who passed away on June 24 after a battle with cancer at the age of 53. Adams was a space architect known for her projects supporting human exploration of space and the solar system.

According to an article by National Geographic, After receiving her Master’s degree in architecture at Yale University, Adams spent several years working in Berlin and Tokyo before getting an offer to work for NASA. Adams went on to win several awards for her innovations at NASA, which included designing a crew-return vehicle, two Mars-surface habitats, a transit spacecraft for planetary exploration, and a next-generation space shuttle. While she is known for pioneering and growing the field of space architecture, Adams is also remembered and celebrated for her community outreach and her collaborations with other Explorers.

The space architect engaged other members of the Explorer community and represented the Society externally in different ways, including through educational programming. Adams was a big believer in community outreach, particularly in joining other female explorers to increase awareness around science and encourage young women to pursue paths in STEM.

Adams was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2005 and remained an active member of the Explorer community. The Emerging Explorer program is an awards-based program that, through a nomination process, identifies 10 to 15 individuals from across different disciplines who are making breakthroughs or are rising leaders in a certain field. For Adams, that field was space architecture. She is particularly known for her developments in "sociokinetic" research, in which she discovered ways to measure how individuals interact with their built environments and with one another.

Along with being a pioneer in her field and her countless achievements in space and exploration, Adams was an active Nia dancer and community member.  

Nia Trainer Helen Terry at Soma Ranch, a retreat center for the Body Mind & Spirit where Adams took Nia classes, had this to say about her:

“Constance was a regular participant at NiaMoves for years. She brought a most unique sparkle to class, a shining star like no other. She is dearly missed.”

Thank you, Constance Adams, for all that you achieved while on this planet and the impact you made on so many people's lives.

You can read more about Constance Adams and her influence as a space architect here: