NASA celebrates women’s achievements in space on International Women’s Day

NASA is celebrating International Women’s Day today by paying tribute to the achievements of female astronauts, of which there are now three NASA astronauts In orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS), namely Yasmine Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, and Janet Epps. O’Hara and Moghbeli also achieved the fourth spacewalk for women, on November 1, 2023.

According to the website,SpaceWithin a few weeks, NASA astronaut Sonny Williams may also launch to the International Space Station aboard the first ever manned mission. Boeing StarlinerThe chances of flying are higher than ever, regardless of gender.

While women’s participation in space continues to reach high levels, there are historical inequalities that need to be addressed. For example, NASA statistics show that only 61 of the 360 ​​astronauts the agency has recruited since 1959 are women.

The large gender gap is partly due to the way space programs were managed early on: they were largely recruited from the military, which was largely all-male in the 1950s and 1960s, and NASA selected its first female astronauts in 1978 And I have worked harder in recent years to equalize numbers with men.

Perhaps among the women who lived her life in the military and then worked for NASA was Jessica Whitner, who always saw fewer women than men. For Whitner, who graduated from basic astronaut training with nine other NASA colleagues, the big lesson learned was It is to encourage both genders to “follow their dreams,” even as obstacles arise.

“It can be scary,” Whitner said, about her choice to be a gender minority as a test pilot and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, adding, “But I think it’s very important not to give up…just keep going, do what you love.”

However, as space becomes more inclusive and more accessible than ever before, for NASA and specialized agencies, there are many upcoming opportunities: potential missions to the Moon or the lunar space station for the Artemis program, or multi-month missions on the International Space Station and space stations. Upcoming commercial space.

Women are involved in fields ranging from astrophysics to community astronomy to education, and at NASA, the agency provides high-level leadership opportunities for women as well. For example, NASA’s Dana Weigel will become the first female program manager for the International Space Station on April 7, the agency recently announced.

New NASA astronaut Denise Burnham, who managed in-situ drilling projects on oil rigs while serving in the U.S. Navy Reserves as an engineering duty officer, said mentorship and opportunities from the community were key to her own journey to graduate from basic astronaut training.

“I was so impressed by the people who were willing to share their knowledge,” Burnham added. “There was no judgment about your background, and they were willing to push you and challenge you to improve. Not everything has to come easy, right? You can’t be so afraid of failure.” You don’t even want to try.”

Leave a Comment