Monday, March 06, 2023

Women's History Month 2023: Celebrating Women Astronauts

Women's History Month 2023: Celebrating Women Astronauts | NASA

European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, left, and NASA astronaut Jessica A. Watkins, right, bid farewell to NASA astronaut Kayla S.  Barron (center) wearing her SpaceX launch and entry suit as she prepares for her return to Earth with her fellow Crew-3 teammates.

“A bird cannot fly with one wing only. Human space flight cannot develop any further without the active participation of women.” —Valentina Tereshkova

“If we want scientists and engineers in the future, we should be cultivating the girls as much as the boys.” —Sally Ride

“International cooperation is very necessary. Chinese have a saying, ‘When all the people collect the wood, you will make a great fire.’” —Liu Yang

As of March 2023, 72 women have flown in space. Of these, 44 have worked on the International Space Station as long-duration expedition crewmembers, as visitors on space shuttle assembly flights, or as space flight participants on short-duration missions. This article recognizes the significant accomplishments of these women from many nations as well as the pioneering women who preceded them into space. Many other women contributed to the assembly of the station and the research conducted aboard on a daily basis, including those on the ground who served as center directors, managers, flight directors, and in many other roles to pursue the exploration of space. Their achievements will contribute to NASA’s efforts to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon and possibly send the first crews to Mars in the coming decades.

The era of women in space began on June 16, 1963, when Soviet cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova launched aboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft. Chosen from a group of five women selected for training, Tereshkova completed a three-day mission and entered the history books as the first woman to orbit the Earth. Nearly 20 years passed before another woman flew in space. In January 1978, NASA announced the selection of 35 new astronauts including six women for the space shuttle program. In response, the Soviet Union secretly selected a group of nine women cosmonauts in 1980. On Aug. 19, 1982, one of these women, Svetlana Y. Savitskaya, launched with her two crewmates aboard Soyuz T-7 for a week-long mission. The next day, they joined the two long-duration resident crewmembers aboard Salyut 7, marking the first time a space station hosted a mixed-gender crew. Ten months later, on June 18, 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride made history as the first American woman in space, spending seven days aboard space shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission.

Savitskaya made history again on July 25, 1984, as the first woman to participate in a spacewalk during her second flight to Salyut 7. Less than three months later, on Oct. 11, Kathryn D. Sullivan completed the first spacewalk by an American woman from space shuttle Challenger during the STS-41G mission. With Ride as one of Sullivan’s crewmates, the flight marked the first time a space crew included two women.

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Credit: NASA
Release Date: March 1, 2023

#NASA #Space #Earth #History #HumanSpaceflight #Spacecraft #Cosmonauts #ValentinaVTereshkova #Astronauts #Women #WomensHistoryMonth #Russia #Россия #UnitedStates #Europe #China #中国 #Japan #日本 #Science #Technology #History #STEM #Education

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