A Brief History
On July 25, 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya exited her Salyut 7 space capsule while in orbit, thus becoming the first woman to ever engage in an EVA, or “extravehicular activity” in space. Most of us usually call such activity a “spacewalk.”
The US has had 56 women in space, and the world has now sent into space about 75 ladies. The Soviets were the real pioneers with women in space with Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman space traveler in 1963. The Soviets did not send another woman into orbit until 1982, with the US finally launching their first female astronaut, Sally Ride, in 1983.
Oddly enough, cosmonaut Savitskaya was not only the second woman in space in 1982, but she again made history with her spacewalk in 1984. Since then, the US has led the world with female astronauts, and the American private space firm, Blue Origin, is planning a 2024 mission with an all-female crew!
Question for students (and subscribers): Will the first human flight to Mars be an all-female crew? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Gibson, Karen. Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures. Chicago Review Press, 2020.
Reynolds, Toby and Paul Calver. Unsung Heroes: Fearless Men and Women who Changed the World. Sourcebooks Trade, 2017.
The featured image in this article, the crew of Soyuz T-12 (Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Svetlana Savitskaya, and Igor Volk) on a stamp issued in 1985, is not an object of copyright according to article 1259 of Book IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation No. 230-FZ of December 18, 2006.
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