I bet you can name at least one of the first ten people in space. Well, Yuri Gagarin isn’t on this list because this list only features the worlds first ten women to ever go into space. While some of them only just reached the outer edges their names will still go down in history…
Ten of the Worlds First Women in Space
10 – Mary L. Cleave (USA), 26th November – 3rd December 1985
Wiki Info: Mary Louise Cleave is an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut. She also served from 2004 to 2007 as NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. Cleave was born in Southampton. She grew up in Great Neck, New York, and has an older and a younger sister. In 1965 Cleave graduated from Great Neck North High School, Great Neck, New York. In 1969 she received a bachelor of science degree in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University and in 1975 a master of science in Microbial Ecology from Utah State University. In 1979 she received a doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.
9 – Bonnie J. Dunbar (USA). 30 October – 6 November 1985
Wiki Info: Bonnie Jeanne Dunbar is a former NASA astronaut. She retired from NASA in September 2005 then served as president and CEO of The Museum of Flight until April 2010. From January 2013 – December 2015, Dr. Dunbar lead the University of Houston’s STEM Center and was a faculty member in the Cullen College of Engineering. Currently, she is a professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University and serves as Director of the Institute for Engineering Education and Innovation, a joint entity in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University.
8 – Shannon Lucid (USA), 17-24 June 1985
Wiki Info: Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid is an American biochemist and a retired NASA astronaut. At one time, she held the record for the longest duration stay in space by an American, as well as by a woman. She has flown in space five times including a prolonged mission aboard the Mir space station in 1996; she is the only American woman to serve aboard Mir. Lucid was born in Shanghai, China, to Baptist missionary parents Oscar and Myrtle Wells, but grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma and graduated from Bethany High School in 1960. She attended the University of Oklahoma from where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1963, her Master’s degree in biochemistry in 1970, and her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1973.
7 – Margaret Rhea Seddon (USA), 12-19 April 1985
Wiki Info: Margaret Rhea Seddon is a physician and retired NASA astronaut. After being selected as part of the first group of astronauts to include women, she flew on three Space Shuttle flights: as mission specialist for STS-51-D and STS-40, and as payload commander for STS-58. Both before and after her career in the astronaut program, she has been active in the medical community in Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas. Seddon was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she attended St Rose of Lima Catholic School and graduated from Central High School in 1965.
6 – Anna Lee Fisher (USA), 8-16 November 1984
Wiki Info: Anna Lee Fisher is an American chemist, emergency physician, and a former NASA astronaut. Formerly married to fellow astronaut Bill Fisher, and the mother of two children, in 1984 she became the first mother in space. Fisher was formerly the oldest active American astronaut. During her career at NASA, she has been involved with three major programs: the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and the Orion project.
5 – Kathryn D. Sullivan (USA), 5-13 October 1984
Wiki Info: Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. A crew member on three Space Shuttle missions, she was the first American woman to walk in space on 11 October 1984. She is the most recent Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2014. Dr. Sullivan’s tenure ended on January 20, 2017 with the swearing in of President Donald Trump.
4 – Judith Resnik (USA), 30 August-5 September 1984
Wiki Info: Judith Arlene Resnik was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L. Resnik was the second American female astronaut in space, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was also the first Jewish American in space and the first Jewish woman of any nationality in space. She was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and had a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honour.
3 – Sally Ride (USA), 18-24 June 1983
Wiki Info: Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have travelled to space, having done so at the age of 32.
2 – Svetlana Savitskaya (Russia), 19 August 1982
Wiki Info: In 1982, Savitskaya flew to space as part of the Soyuz T-7 mission, alongside Leonid Popov and Aleksandr Serebrov, becoming the second woman to fly to space, some 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova. On her second spaceflight, on 25 July 1984, she also became the first woman to perform a spacewalk. She conducted an EVA outside the Salyut 7 space station for 3 hours and 35 minutes during which she cut and welded metals in space along with her colleague Vladimir Dzhanibekov. Of the 57 Soviet/Russian spacewalkers through 2010, she is the only female.
1 – Valentina Tereshkova (Russia), 16-19 June 1963
Wiki Info: Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Russian cosmonaut, engineer, and politician. She is the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than 400 applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. She completed 48 orbits of the Earth in her three days in space. In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Tereshkova was honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force and thus she also became the first civilian to fly in space. Before her recruitment as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur skydiver. After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still regarded as a hero in post-Soviet Russia.