Samantha Cristoforetti is everywhere in the news today for posting astonishing pictures of Super Typhoon Maysak from the international space station. The first Italian woman in space, Cristoforetti has been living almost 400 kilometers above the surface of the Earth since November and has received worldwide attention for her Space-updates on Twitter.
But even though Cristoforetti is one of the very few women to have gone to space, she is not the only one. Till date, a total of 58 women, excluding Cristoforetti, have completed their spaceflights. And here we have for you, 5 of the most triumphant women astronauts:
Tereshkova opened a new door for women everywhere as she became the first woman to have flown in space. Also being the first civilian to go to space at the age of 26, Tereshkova is celebrated as a Soviet hero and has inspired millions of people around the world to follow their hearts. According to News.com.au, in 2013 she even offered to go on a one-way trip to Mars if the opportunity arose.
The first American woman and youngest American astronaut to travel into space, Sally Ride was also the first person to use the robotic arm to retrieve a satellite and the first woman to use the arm in space and the founder of NASA’s Office of Exploration. But these aren’t her only achievements- she has also written and co-written several books for children and served on the Presidential Commissions that investigated both the Challenger and Columbia disasters.
Eileen Collins was the first Female Space Shuttle Pilot and Commander. After serving as second-in-command for the United States’ Mir space station mission, she took a sabbatical, had a daughter and came back to work; this time to lead ‘Columbia’ as the commander to the crew that deployed the Chandra X-Ray telescope. She was also the first astronaut to fly the Space Shuttle through a 360-degree pitch maneuver, ensuring its safety by making it possible for the ISS to take photographs of the Shuttle’s underside.
The first Indian woman and only the second Indian astronaut in space, Chawla was a hero to girls all across India, where young women are rarely encouraged to pursue careers in astronautical science. A recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal; Chawla and her team conducted several experiments in space before dying because of a shuttle failure that led to the complete destruction of the vehicle.
Sadly, we live in a world where most pioneers are men, but Yi So-Yeon made history by becoming the first Korean to fly in space. She was selected among the finalists in the country to join two other Russian cosmonauts, which makes South Korea the third country, after the United Kingdom and Iran, to have a woman as its first space traveler.
Picture By: ABC News