Women At NASA (Images copyright: NASA Images)
Valerie Thomas was one of the early females to work at NASA. While during her time it was impossible for a woman to be an astronaut, many women soon made their mark in the fields of mathematics and science analytics for the NASA team. It was required for astronauts to have a requirement that astronauts be military pilots. Another thing that was impossible because women were not allowed to be in the military.
Since the Women’s Rights Movement this has obviously changed. There has been about 55 different women astronauts, and this does not even factor in the women working behind the scenes, or the ones doing that analytics and math calculations such as Valerie Thomas.
Today, 10 women have actually WALKED in space!
This is just incredible to think about how far, though still in a small amount, women’s rights has moved forward in the past half of a century. It is a statement to women everywhere the amount of progress being made now versus the rights of women about 2-500 years ago and more!
While it is encouraging to hear of the higher numbers of women pursing mathematics and sciences now in college, there still is a very large gender gap in the math and science fields. Especially with space travel and space research. Granted, space research is a fairly new or newer area of study it still seems like an afterthought for most women to think about a career researching or analyzing this type of data.
Sally Ride was the first American women in space and also a member of the group of the first 6 women employed at NASA in the late 1960’s. It wasn’t until 1983 when she became the first women to enter space on the Challenger shuttle. Among her great feat in space, she also created and was head of NASA’s “Office of Exploration”. Sally Ride and Valerie Thomas both paved the way for women to enter the technological, math, science, and space exploration fields.
NASA is very proud of the women they hire, as they should be because of the outstanding works the have achieved. They are very focused on making more initiatives for women and overall just letting more females and aspiring students know that science and mathematics are not limited to men. NASA has many different cultures and countries represented, like India, Spain, Mexico, Canada, various Euro-states and other countries.