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The history of women in the U.S. astronaut corps

An image of Sally Ride from her 1983 mission to space, marking the first time a female astronaut flew on a U.S. mission.
Johnson Space Center
Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, performs a number of functions simultaneously, proving the necessity for versatility and dexterity in space travel. She was the first female U.S. astronaut to travel to space

Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman to fly in space in 1983. But the story of women astronauts began decades earlier.

For Women’s History Month, we’re exploring the history of women in the U.S. astronaut corps, starting with a look at the 13 women who trained alongside NASA’s original Mercury 7 in the 1960s. While they never went to space, they paved the way for future female astronauts. Author Rebecca Siegel joins the show to discuss her book To Fly Among the Stars: The Hidden Story of the Fight for Women Astronauts.

Then, as NASA focused on science in the late 1970s, it made room for women to join the astronaut corps. We'll speak with Amy Foster, UCF professor of history and author of Integrating Women into the Astronaut Corps about the inclusion of women during the Space Shuttle program.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.<br/><br/>Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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