She and News 8's Maureen McGuire were high school classmates at Bishop Kearney High School. This spring, Maureen travelled to Johnson Space Center in Houston to catch up with Pam, six months into training for her next space shuttle mission.
Melroy told Maureen Rochester is special to her. "I love the fact that people do know that I have that connection with them," she said, "and they sense it and they're proud of it too."
On Pam's third trip to space, she won't just be part of the crew. She'll lead the crew. NASA chose her to be the commander of this mission, guiding six other astronauts as they deliver and install another connecting node to the International Space Station. The training is long and arduous.
"That's actually one of my primary responsiblities as a commander, to make sure the crew is in every way, shape and form prepared for what they're about to experience," she said.
Overall training for Pam's next mission began last August, and it's in full swing now. In fact, this was News 8 Now's last chance to sit down for a talk prior to launch in the fall.
"Right now it's hard for me," Pam said, "so I probably won't be back to Rochester before I fly. It's just hard to get the vacation away from the training program."
Her routine demands absolute focus, but Pam's used to it. Before she went to work for NASA, Pam was an Air Force test pilot. She flew a shuttle to space in 2000, and once more in 2002. Now, she's only the second woman ever to command a NASA space mission, and though she understands why people ask her for her autograph, it's taken Pam a long time to get used to her celebrity status.
"I'm not uncomfortable with it anymore," she said, "but occasionally I find it hilarious!" As she puts it, she's an ordinary woman with an extraordinary job. "This is what I was meant to do," she said. "I wouldn't be happy if I weren't doing it."
In part two of our report, Pam practices a robotics task in a special training simulator called the dome....and tells Maureen about the hardest part of her job as commander. For more information on Pam, click here.