March is Women’s History Month!

Women have been making impacts in their fields for years and the aerospace community is no exception. Check out the fun facts below about some of aerospace’s incredible women!

  • Peggy Whitson became the first female space station commander in April 2008 during Expedition 16.
  • The first woman credited with discovering a comet was Caroline Herschel in 1786. She spotted seven other comets over the next 11 years.
  • The famous O, B, A, F, G, K, or M classification for stars exists today thanks to Annie Jump Cannon’s work classifying and examining stars. She classified about 350,000 stars in her lifetime and was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Groningen University.
  • Nancy Grace Roman was the first woman to hold an executive position at NASA. She managed many NASA projects including the Hubble Space Telescope. She was nicknamed “Mother of Hubble.”
  • Carolyn Shoemaker holds the record of most comet discoveries (32) by an individual. She has also discovered 800+ asteroids!
  • In 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered the first radio pulsars. She received the Special Breakthrough Prize in recognition of her discovery and her 50+ years of scientific leadership.
  • In 2020, Andrea Ghez became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Ghez and her team discovered the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
  • The first woman to travel in space was Valentina Tereshkova on June 16, 1963 aboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft.
  • On July 25, 1984, Svetlana Savitskaya became the first female spacewalker.
  • The first Hispanic woman in space was Ellen Ochoa. Ellen would play her flute in her spare time during the STS-56 mission.

Check out the links below to learn more!

Women’s History Month 2023: Celebrating Women Astronauts

20 trailblazing women in astronomy and astrophysics

NASA Women’s History Month

Caroline Herschel – British-German Astronomer

Annie Jump Cannon

Nancy Grace Roman – Astronomer/”Mother of Hubble”

Pioneering women in space: A gallery of astronaut firsts

Who Will Be the First Woman on the Moon?

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Sets Spaceflight Record

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