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Women in Space

All statistics valid as of July 2017.

General Facts

59 different women total including cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists, and foreign nationals have flown in space.

4 different female cosmonauts have flown on the Soviet/Russian program: Valentina Tereshkova, Svetlana Savitskaya, Elena V. Kondakova, and Elena O. Serova

4 different female space flight participants have flown on the Soviet/Russian program: Helen Sharman, Claudie Haigneré (nee André-Deshays), Anousheh Ansari, and Yi So-yeon.

2 female astronauts or taikonauts have flown in the Chinese program

50 different women have flown with NASA.

First woman in space

Valentina Tereshkova - Vostok 6. June 16, 1963

First U.S. woman in space

Sally Ride - STS-7. June 18-24, 1983

(She was the third woman in space overall after Valentina Tereshkova, above, and Svetlana Savitskaya, who flew on Soyuz T-7 August 19, 1982)

First woman Space Shuttle commander

Eileen Collins - STS-93. July 23-27, 1999. She commanded for a second time on STS-114 July 26, 2005

Pamela Melroy was the second woman commander on STS-120 October 23-November 7, 2007

First woman Space Station Expedition crew member

Susan Helms - Expedition 2. March 2001 - August 2001

First woman to command the International Space Station (ISS)

Peggy Whitson - Whitson completed a six month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station as the ISS Commander for Expedition 16 in April 2008.

Sunita Williams was the second woman commander for Expedition 33 beginning on September 15, 2012.

First woman to participate in an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA)

Svetlana Savitskaya - Soyuz T-12. July 25, 1984

First U.S. woman to participate in an EVA

Kathryn (Kathy) Sullivan - STS 41-G. October 11, 1984

Women Space Shuttle pilots

Eileen Collins - was first woman pilot on STS-63 February 3-11, 1995. She returned as pilot on STS-84
Susan Still - STS-83, STS-94
Pamela Ann Melroy - STS 92, STS-112

Space Shuttle missions with more than one woman

STS 41-G Kathryn D. Sullivan, Sally K. Ride
STS 51-L Judith A. Resnik, Sharon Christa McAuliffe
STS-34 Shannon W. Lucid, Ellen S. Baker
STS-32 Bonnie J. Dunbar, Marsha S. Ivins
STS-40 Tamara E. Jernigan, M. Rhea Seddon, Millie Hughes-Fulford
STS-50 Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ellen S. Baker
STS-47 N. Jan Davis, Mae C. Jemison
STS-57 Nancy J. Sherlock, Janice E. Voss
STS-58 M. Rhea Seddon, Shannon W. Lucid
STS-63 Eileen M. Collins, Janice E. Voss
STS-67 Tamara E. Jernigan, Wendy B. Lawrence
STS-71 Ellen S. Baker, Bonnie J. Dunbar
STS-70 Nancy Jane Currie, Mary Ellen Weber
STS-73 Kathryn C. Thornton, Catherine G. Coleman
STS-76 Shannon W. Lucid, Linda M. Godwin
STS-83 Susan L. Still, Janice E. Voss
STS-84 Eileen M. Collins, Elena V. Kondakova
STS-94 Susan L. Still, Janice E. Voss
STS-91 Wendy B. Lawrence, Janet L. Kavandi
STS-96 Ellen Ochoa, Tamara E. Jernigan, Julie Payette
STS-93 Eileen M. Collins, Catherine G. Coleman
STS-99 Janet L. Kavandi, Janice E. Voss
STS-101 Mary Ellen Weber, Susan J. Helms
STS-112 Pamela Melroy, Sandra Magnus
STS-107 Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark
STS-114 Eileen M. Collins, Wendy Lawrence
STS-121 Stephanie D. Wilson, Lisa M. Nowak
STS-116 Sunita Williams, Joan Higginbotham
STS-118 Barbara R. Morgan, Tracy E. Caldwell Dyson
STS-120 Pamela A. Melroy, Stephanie D. Wilson
STS-126 Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Sandra H. Magnus
STS-131 Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Naoko Yamazaki
(The 4 women in space during this mission set a record for the most women in space at the same time,
including these three from the STS-131 crew along with NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson who arrived on the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-18)

Women astronauts from Astronaut Classes of 1998, 2009, and 2013 who have not yet flown

PATRICIA HILLIARD ROBERTSON (M.D.) (Deceased)
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 1998
Died May 24, 2001 of injuries sustained in the crash of a private plane.
Served as the office representative for the Crew Healthcare System (CHeCS), and a Crew Support Astronaut (CSA) for the ISS Expedition 2 Crew.

SERENA M. AUNON
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2009

JEANETTE J. EPPS
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2009

CHRISTINA M. HAMMOCK
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2013

NICOLE A. MANN
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2013

ANNE C. MCCLAIN
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2013

JESSICA U. MEIR
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2013

KAYLA BARRON
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2017

ZENA CARDMAN
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2017

JASMIN MOGHBELI
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2017

LORAL O’HARA
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2017

JESSICA WATKINS
ASTRONAUT CLASS OF 2017


Information about individual female astronauts may be found at Johnson Spaceflight Center's Astronaut Biographies page. The History Office maintains a page about the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, or Mercury 13.

Information about Eilene Galloway, who helped create NASA.

Visit our new Women@NASA site to learn about the significant and varied roles women have played in the agency's history.

Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
Site design by NASA HQ Printing & Design
For further information email hq-histinfo@nasa.gov

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