Women who graced outer space and changed it forever

Written By: Bharat Sharma | Updated: Mar 09, 2021, 08:53 AM IST

As countries step up their attempts at controlling space while expanding exploration, at the helm of these pursuits have been women. We bring to you a list of many firsts - all courtesy of the talented and ambitious women who want to make space open for all humans, regardless of their sex and gender. Take a look at women who made history in space

First woman in space

As of March 2021, 65 women have flown into space. These include astronauts, cosmonauts, specialists, and other space station personnel. Russia's Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space, who flew on Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.


First Black woman in space

Mae Jemison, an astronaut from US' National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) became the first Black woman in space in 1992, when she flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-47.


First woman aboard space station

NASA's Susan Helms, an astronaut and a member of Expedition 2 between March-August 2001 was the first female crew member aboard the space station.


Most women in space

In 2010, space was witness to the most number of women ever to grace the outskirts of our planet. Space shuttle Discovery visited the space station for the STS-131 mission, and among this crew of seven were four women - including NASA astronauts astronauts Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Stephanie Wilson, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki. In addition was Tracy Caldwell Dyson, part of the six member space station crew.


Longest single spacewalk ever

Among other things achieved by women first was the record for the longest single spacewalk, lasting for 8 hours and 56 minutes. Susan Helms set this record along with fellow NASA astronaut Jim Voss.


First all-female spacewalk

Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, astronauts from NASA created history in October 2019 when they completed the first ever all-female spacewalk. In 2020, the duo undertook two more spacewalks.


First Indian-American woman in space

Kalpana Chawla became India's first woman astronaut after blasting off to space on November 19, 1997. She was aboard Columbia flight STS-107 which disintegrated over Texas minutes a few minutes before it was slated to land in Florida, killing everyone on board.