Women in Space

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First Woman in Space - Valentina Tereshkova

Women in Space

First American Woman in Space

Pioneering Women of Space:

  • 1959:  Geraldine (Jerrie) Cobb was the first woman in the U.S. to undergo astronaut testing, however, NASA cancelled the women’s program in July 1961.
  • June 1963: Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the First Woman in Space. She flew on the Vostok 5 mission which was launched on June 16, 1963. It orbited the Earth 48 times and the flight lasted 2.95 days.
  • August 1982: Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the second woman in space. She flew aboard Soyuz T-7 which was launched August 19, 1982.
  • June 1983: Sally Ride was the First American Woman in Space and third woman in space. She flew on the shuttle Challenger STS-7 mission from June 18-June 24, 1983.
  • July 1984: Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the First Woman to Walk in Space on July 17, 1984 aboard the Soyuz T-12. Her spacewalk lasted 3.58 hours. She was also the first woman to go to space twice (in 1982 and 1984).
  • August 1984: Judith Resnick was the Second American Woman in Space. She flew on the shuttle Discovery STS-41D mission in August 30-September 5, 1984.
  • October 1984: Kathryn Sullivan was First American Female Spacewalker. She flew on Challenger STS-41G on October 5, 1984.
  • January 1986: Christa McAuliffe was chosen to be first teacher in space. She died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.
  • October 1984Helen Sharman was the first British astronaut in space when she flew aboard the Russian space craft Soyuz TM-12 on May 18, 1991.
  • January 1992: Roberta Bondar was the First Canadian Woman in Space. She flew on the shuttle Discovery STS-42 Mission, January 22-30, 1992.
  • September 1992: Mae Jemison was the First Black Woman in Space during shuttle Endeavor STS-47 Mission, September 12-20, 1992. She was a Mission Specialist.
  • April 1993Ellen Ochoa was the First Hispanic American Woman in Space. She flew as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-56 mission.
  • July 1994Chiaki Mukai was the First Japanese Woman in Space. She flew on Shuttle Columbia STS-56 mission, 8-23 July, 1994.
  • February 1995: Eileen Collins was the First Woman Pilot of a Space Shuttle.
  • September 1996: Shannon Lucid returns from six months aboard the Mir Space Station, setting space endurance record for women and U.S. space endurance record.
  • May 1999: Susan Helms was the First Woman Crew Member of the International Space Station.
  • July 1999: Eileen Collins was the First Woman to fly as a Space Shuttle Commander.
  • October 2001Claudie Haigneré was the First European Woman to visit the International Space Station.
  • February 2003Dr. Kalpana Chawla and Dr. Laurel Clark died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003.

Did you know?

– In 1991, British Chemist Helen Sharman flew to Mir Space Station for a week long stay after answering a newspaper advertisement. ” Astronaut wanted – no experience necessary”.


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