The first woman in space was Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. Her expertise as a parachutist gave this factory worker a chance to be a Cosmonaut. She orbited the Earth 48 times in 1963 aboard Vostok 6. Although her flight was considered a novelty and she never took manual control of the spacecraft, she became a national heroine in the USSR . She married a fellow cosmonaut and their daughter, Elena, became the first child born of parents who had both been in space. <> Vostok 6 Valentina Tereshkova
Sally Ride The first American woman in space was Dr. Sally Ride, a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 and 1984. Dr. Ride attended Stanford University where she received 4 undergraduate degrees and a Masters and Ph.D. in Physics. She retired from the space program in 1987 and accepted a position as professor at Stanford. She hopes she can inspire young women to become scientists and engineers
Svetlana Savitskaya Although her father was a distinguished Soviet leader, Svetlanta Savitskaya became a cosmonaut due to her own talents. By the age of 17 she had performed over 450 sky dives. After excelling in aeronautics school she went on to become one of the world’s best test pilots and was selected to be a cosmonaut in 1980. Svetlana became the second woman in space in 1983, and also the first woman to walk in space. She was chosen to command an all female crew to visit the space station Mir but the mission was cancelled.
Kathryn Sullivan . With 3 shuttle missions and over 500 hours in space, Dr. Sullivan is one of America’s most experienced astronauts. In 1990 she was part of the shuttle mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope and she became the first American woman to walk in space.
Mae Jemison Aboard Endeavor in 1992, Dr. Jemison became the first African-American woman in space. She has experience as a medical practitioner, chemical engineer, teacher, and Peace Corps volunteer. Dr. Jemison is dedicated to making sure that the fields of medicine, science, and technology are free from both ethnic and gender discrimination. She is currently a professor at Dartmouth University, and the host of “The World of Wonders” on the Discovery Channel
Eileen Collins After logging over 5000 hours in 30 different kind of aircraft, Colonel Collins became the first women to pilot the Space Shuttle in 1995. Four years later she became the first female commander of a Space Shuttle mission
Shannon Lucid Dr. Lucid has spent more time in space than any American or any woman in history. Five separate shuttle missions and 188 days on board the Russian Mir Space Station have made her the American record holder for orbiting the Earth.
Mrs. McAuliffe was a high school teacher who was chosen among thousands of applicants to be the first shuttle passenger. As the first “Teacher in Space” she would teach lessons to thousands of students from orbit. A mother of two, she was tragically killed when the Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off in 1986. Christa McAuliffe
Catherine “Cady” Coleman Dr. Coleman represents a generation of young astronauts who develop a love of science, become expert in a particular field (polymer science) and are selected as mission specialists. In 1999 she was the lead mission specialist in the mission which deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory
These women are all pioneers in challenging space, and in challenging what have traditionally been the male dominated fields of science, engineering, medicine, and space travel. Their common message is for anyone to challenge ethnic, cultural, and gender barriers by achieving the highest level of education that they can and have the courage to be a leader . Dr. Judith Resnik 1949-1986 Chemical Engineer Mission Specialist The only woman space traveler ever to lose her life on a mission. This program is dedicated to