NASA announced the first group of female astronauts in 1978 each of which would fly on at least one mission eventually. Sally Right became the first American woman to fly in space after the Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova who orbited the Earth in 1963.
Since then many women have applied for the astronaut program and gotten selected. NASA recently announced its new batch of 2016 astronauts, which includes four women astronauts who will be flying to Mars. Although, this dream of theirs will take 15 years to come true. Yes, that’s how long it will take to build and test every piece of equipment for the mission. Mars is observed to have an average temperature of -81 degrees and scientists say that in the coming decades we might find a way to not just visit the planet but also actually live there! Imagine taking off for a vacation to Mars!
These lucky four women astronauts are Nicole Aunapu Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, and Christina Hammock Koch. This is a massive leap for womankind; to be able to prepare to land on a planet that has remained untouched before!
In their interview with Glamour, Anne MacClain, Jessica Meir and Christina Koch admitted to their ambition of being an astronaut from when they were just little kids. Nicole Mann however says that this came as a late realization for her. Well well, better late than never right?
While we are on the topic, how can we forget the braveheart, Kalpana Chawla! She was the first Indian woman in space and unfortunately lost her life doing what she loved. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 shook the world as we lost the entire crew of seven people who were orbiting the Earth and performing experiments.
She was born in Karnal and pursued her aeronautical engineering at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. She moved to the States for further studies and became a naturalized US citizen in 1991. She logged 30 days, 14 hours, and 54 minutes in space.
We salute these women for their dedication and success, which is a constant reminder that sky is the limit. Literally.
Feature Image Credit: glamour.com