Sunday, April 23, 2017

Women of Space

You know what I love celebrating? Strong, inspiring women, especially those that go against the stereotypes and do what no women has done before. Today I want to celebrate the women of space. Those women who were and still are a part of a male dominated field. Because this post would be so long if I included all of the women of space I decided to just include the women who have been the first of something (first women in space, first woman space shuttle commender, etc.). I hope to do another post like this in the future.

Valentina Tereshkova was the first women in space. She flew Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963 with the Russians. Her orbit around earth was 48 times! Valentina means strong, vigorous, healthy in Latin. The name is ranked at #114 in the United States. In France the name is ranked at #76.

Sally Ride was the first U.S. woman in space. She flew up on June 18, 1983 and stayed until June 24. During the trip her job was to control the robotic arm and used that arm to put satellites into space. Sally is the English diminutive of Sarah which means princess. I hold a special place in my heart for this name because it was my grandmother's name.

Eileen Collins was the first woman space shuttle commander. She commended STS-93 from July 23 to July 27, 1999. In 2005 she had her second space shuttle commend. Not only was she the first woman space shuttle commander but she was also the first woman space shuttle pilot in 1995. I'd say that she was pretty important to women's take in space! The name Eileen means desired in Irish and is the anglicized form of Eibhlin.

Peggy Whitson was the first woman to command the International Space Station (ISS). In April 2008, Peggy completed a 6 month tour on the ISS. In 2016 she became the oldest female astronaut. The name Peggy a diminutive of Margaret, which means pearl. In medieval times it became a variant of Meggy but the reason for the change is unknown.

Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to participate in an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). She completed this task on July 25, 1984 on the Soyuz T-12. She was also the second women in space. Svetlana is a Russian name meaning light, world. A Russian poet named Vasily Zhukovsky made the name popular in 1813 with his poem bearing the same name.

Kathryn Sullivan was the first U.S. woman to participate in an Extra-Vehicular Activity on October 11, 1984 meaning she was the first American woman to walk in space. She was a crew member on 3 Space Shuttle missions. Kathryn means each of two in English. It is an alternative spelling of Katherine.

Susan Helms was the first woman space station expedition crew member on Expedition 2 from March 2001 to August 2001. To my surprise she had spent a total of 5,064 hours in space! She even has a world record for the longest EVA of 8 hours and 56 minutes. I guess you could say she loved space. Susan is an English variant of Susanna meaning lily. This spelling of the name has been the most common spelling since the 18th century because of Susan B. Anthony.

I had so much fun learning about the different women of space! I am sure there are some women on this list you have heard of before but I know that some of these amazing, inspiring I had never heard of before. Let me know what you thought of this post. Would you like more inspiring women in the future?

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