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Women in Space - Timeline

A Chronology of Women Astronauts, Cosmonauts, and Other Space Pioneers


Shannon Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn Sullivan, Judith Resnik, Anna Fisher, Sally Ride

Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, Anna L. Fisher, and Sally K. Ride

Courtesy NASA

1959 - Jerrie Cobb selected for testing for the Mercury astronaut training program

1962 - Though Jerrie Cobb and 12 other women (the Mercury 13) passed astronaut admission tests, NASA decides not to select any women. Congressional hearings include testimony by Cobb and others, including Senator Philip Hart, husband of one of the Mercury 13.

1963 - June - Valentina Tereshkova, cosmonaut from the USSR, becomes the first woman in space

1978 - Six women chosen as astronaut candidates by NASA: Rhea Seddon, Kathryn Sullivan, Judith Resnik, Sally Ride, Anna Fisher and Shannon Lucid

1983 - June - Sally Ride, American astronaut, becomes the first American woman in space

1984 - July - Svetlana Savitskaya, USSR cosmonaut, becomes first woman to walk in space

1984 - October - Kathryn Sullivan, American astronaut, becomes first American woman to walk in space

1984 - August - Anna Fisher becomes the first person to retrieve a malfunctioning satellite, using the orbiter remote manipulator arm

1992 - May - Kathy Thornton, the second woman to walk in space, holds record for longest space walk by a woman as of 2002

1992 - June/July - Bonnie Dunbar and Ellen Baker are among the first American crew to dock with the Russian space station

1992 - September - Mae Jemison becomes first African American woman in space

1993 - April - Ellen Ochoa becomes first Hispanic American woman in space

1994 - July - Chiaki Mukai becomes the first Japanese woman in space

1995 - February - Eileen Collins becomes first woman to pilot a space shuttle

1996 - September - Shannon Lucid returns from her six months on Mir, the Russian space station, with a record for the time in space for women and for Americans -- she is also the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor

1998 - May - Nearly 2/3 of the flight control team for STS-95 were women, including the launch commentator, Lisa Malone, the ascent commentator, Eileen Hawley, the flight directory, Linda Harm, and the communicator between crew and mission control, Susan Still

1998 - December - Nancy Currie completes the first task in assembling the International Space Station

1999 - July - Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to command a space shuttle

This timeline © 2002-2009 Jone Johnson Lewis.

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