AFP/AFP/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    NASA astronaut Sally K. Ride, the first American woman in space, poses in Houston before her first flight. Ride and other four NASA astronauts flew the shuttle Challenger in June 1983.
    AFP/AFP/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Sally Ride on the middeck of the shuttle Challenger. She flew it twice, in 1983 and again in 1984. She died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61.
    NASA
  • Female Astronauts

    On June 18, 1983, Ride, a 31-year-old physicist from California, took her seat aboard the shuttle and launched into history. In this image Ride monitors control panels from the pilot's couch on Challenger's flight deck.
    NASA
  • Female Astronauts

    Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to travel in space, flying solo in the Soviet Vostok 6 capsule. She is seen in a television image from the spacecraft, June 1, 1963.
    Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Mission specialist Judith A Resnik on board the shuttle Discovery, on its maiden voyage in this Aug. 30, 1984 photo. Resnik, chosen by NASA at in the same group of astronauts as Sally Ride, would later die in the Challenger disaster with six crewmates on Jan. 28, 1986.
    NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan is seen in this official NASA portrait. In 1984 she became the first American woman to make a spacewalk.
    NASA
  • Female Astronauts

    Christa McAuliffe, named as the first teacher in space, on the aft flight deck of a shuttle simulator in Houston, Sept. 23, 1985. McAuliffe was one of the seven astronauts who died on Jan. 28, 1986 when the shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff.
    AP Photo
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Shannon Lucid, right, unpacks supplies with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev aboard Russia's Mir space station on March 25, 1996. Lucid spent six months on board Mir in 1996, and for many years held the U.S. record for the longest time spent in space.
    NASA/AP Photo
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Eileen M. Collins at the controls of the space shuttle Atlantis. One of NASA's very few astronauts who were initially pilots, she became the first commander of an American space mission in 1999, flying the shuttle Columbia.
    NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Laurel B. Clark training for flight at the Johnson Space Center in Houston on April 25, 2002. Clark and her six crewmates died when the shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003.
    NASA/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, a mission specialist, during the final flight of the shuttle Columbia, Jan. 27, 2003. While this image and volumes of data from the mission were transmitted to the ground, Columbia broke up on its return. Chawla and her six crewmates died.
    NASA/Getty Images
  • Female Astronauts

    Astronaut Peggy A. Whitson wears a Russian Orlan spacesuit as she prepares for an upcoming session of extravehicular activity from the Pirs docking compartment on the International Space Station in this Aug. 14, 2002 file photo.
    NASA
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