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Astronaut

United StatesAstronautDoctor

Laurel B. Clark

Laurel Blair Clark (née Salton; March 10, 1961 – February 1, 2003) was a NASA astronaut, medical doctor, United States Navy captain, and Space Shuttle mission specialist. She was a remarkable woman who made significant contributions to both the field of medicine and space exploration.

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United StatesAstronautPhysicist

Sally Ride

Sally Kristen Ride was an American astronaut and physicist who paved the way for women in space exploration. She became the first American woman to fly in space and made significant contributions to NASA’s space program. Beyond her extraordinary career, Ride’s personal life also showcased her diversity and the importance of inclusivity in all fields. Her dedication, intelligence, and passion continue to inspire generations to pursue their dreams.

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United StatesAstronautDoctor

Laurel Clark

Laurel Clark, a NASA astronaut and medical doctor, had an accomplished and driven life that was tragically cut short. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and pursued a military career, specializing in diving medicine and submarine medical officer training. Clark’s ultimate dream of journeying to space became a reality when she was selected for mission STS-107. Unfortunately, she lost her life in the catastrophic Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Clark’s dedication and sacrifice were posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanAstronaut

Yvonne Cagle

Yvonne Darlene Cagle (born April 24, 1959) is an American physician, professor, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and NASA Astronaut. Cagle joined NASA as an astronaut in 1996. She is one of six African American female astronauts.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAfrican American

Joan Higginbotham

Joan Elizabeth Higginbotham, born on August 3, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, became a renowned NASA astronaut. Throughout her career, she actively participated in 53 space shuttle launches during her 9-year tenure at Kennedy Space Center. Her groundbreaking achievements serve as a testament to the power of determination and hard work. She has paved the way for future generations, especially women, to pursue careers in space exploration.

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Rayyanah Barnawi

Rayyanah Barnawi is a prominent biomedical researcher and the first Saudi female astronaut. Her selection for Axiom Mission 2 marked a historic milestone for Saudi Arabia and women in space. With a strong educational foundation and expertise in cancer stem cell research, Barnawi’s groundbreaking achievements have inspired aspiring female scientists and astronauts.

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United StatesAstronautPhysicist

Shannon Walker

Shannon Walker (born June 4, 1965) is an American physicist and NASA astronaut. She has made significant contributions to the field of space exploration and has served as an inspiration for women in STEM. Walker’s career has been marked by numerous accomplishments, overcoming challenges, and making a lasting impact on society.

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RussiaAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Anna Kikina

Anna Yuryevna Kikina, born in Novosibirsk, Russia in 1984, is a Russian engineer and cosmonaut. She has made significant contributions to space exploration and is known for breaking gender barriers in the field. Kikina’s career highlights include being the only female cosmonaut currently in active service at Roscosmos and being the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Her dedication and pioneering spirit have left an indelible mark on the history of space exploration.

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JapanAstronaut

Chiaki Mukai

Chiaki Mukai is a Japanese physician and JAXA astronaut who became the first Japanese woman to venture into space. With two spaceflights aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-65) in 1994 and the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) in 1998, she has spent a total of 23 days in space. Throughout her career, Mukai has made significant contributions to both the medical and aerospace communities, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM and space exploration.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

Kathryn P. Hire

Kathryn Patricia “Kay” Hire, a former NASA astronaut and Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, made significant contributions to space exploration. After a passion for engineering and space ignited during her early education, she pursued degrees in Engineering and Management from the United States Naval Academy and Space Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology. Hire’s groundbreaking career included being the first female combat aircrew member in the U.S. military and flying on two space missions. Her achievements have paved the way for future women in the field.

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CanadaAstronautEngineer

Julie Payette

Julie Payette is a Canadian engineer, scientist, and former astronaut who served as the 29th Governor General of Canada. She completed two spaceflights and spent over 25 days in space. Despite controversy during her tenure as governor general, Payette’s career and accomplishments have made her an influential figure in Canadian society, inspiring women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

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Sunita Williams

Sunita Lyn Williams, also known as Suni in the United States and Son?ka in Slovenia, is an American astronaut and United States Navy officer. She comes from a diverse heritage, with her paternal family hailing from Jhulasan, Gujarat, India, and her maternal family of Slovene descent. Williams holds several records in space exploration, including the most spacewalks by a woman and the most time spent on spacewalks for a woman. Through her accomplishments, Williams has inspired countless individuals and made a profound impact on society.

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United StatesAstronautBiochemist

Peggy Whitson

Peggy Annette Whitson, an American biochemistry researcher and former NASA astronaut, has made significant contributions to space exploration. From her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut to commanding the International Space Station and setting multiple records, Whitson has left an indelible mark on the field. Her legacy as a trailblazer and role model continues as she mentors the next generation of astronauts. Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, Whitson’s impact on society and women’s history is remarkable.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Bonnie J. Dunbar

Bonnie Jeanne Dunbar, born on March 3, 1949, is an American engineer and retired NASA astronaut. She is widely recognized for her significant contributions to the field of space exploration over the years. Dunbar’s career took her on five Space Shuttle missions between 1985 and 1998, encompassing two dockings with the Mir space station.

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ChinaAstronautAviation

Wang Yaping

Wang Yaping is the second female taikonaut and the first Chinese woman to perform a spacewalk. She achieved the longest stay in space by a female astronaut in April 2022, accumulating 197 days. Wang’s dedication to space exploration and her contributions to scientific knowledge have made her a role model for aspiring female astronauts and a symbol of progress in aviation and space science.

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United StatesAstronautBiochemist

Shannon Lucid

Shannon Wells Lucid, the accomplished American biochemist and former NASA astronaut, has made significant contributions to space exploration. Born on January 14, 1943 in Shanghai, Republic of China, Lucid holds the distinction of being the only American woman to have stayed on the Russian space station Mir, leaving an indelible mark on women’s history.

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United StatesAstronautGeologist

Sian Proctor

Sian Hayley “Leo” Proctor made history as the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft during the Inspiration4 private orbital spaceflight in September 2021. With a background in geology and science education, she has been dedicated to fostering scientific curiosity and inspiring the next generation of explorers. Through her achievements, she has broken barriers and made space more accessible and inclusive.

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United StatesAstronaut

Rhea Seddon

Margaret Rhea Seddon, born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1947, was a pioneering astronaut and surgeon. Known for her curiosity from a young age, Seddon took a special interest in science and later excelled in her medical career. She made history as part of the first group of women astronauts at NASA, contributing to various projects and completing three Space Shuttle missions. Seddon’s remarkable achievements have inspired generations of aspiring scientists and women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Christina Koch

Christina Hammock Koch is an American engineer and NASA astronaut. She pursued her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, earning two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and physics from North Carolina State University. Koch made significant contributions to scientific instruments on various NASA missions and held diverse roles, including serving as a Research Associate in the United States Antarctic Program. In 2019, she made history as part of the first all-female spacewalk and broke the record for the longest continuous time spent in space by a woman. Koch’s achievements have solidified her place in women’s history and she continues to push the boundaries of space exploration as part of the Artemis II flight crew.

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United StatesAstronautDoctor

Ellen S. Baker

Ellen Louise Shulman Baker, M.D., M.P.H., was born on April 27, 1953, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Mel Shulman, a physician, and Claire Shulman, a politician. However, she was primarily raised in New York City. Baker’s upbringing in a family of accomplished professionals set the stage for her own remarkable career.

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Jessica Meir

Jessica Ulrika Meir is an American NASA astronaut, marine biologist, and physiologist. Her passion for exploration and science was evident from an early age. Meir’s interest in space and nature was sparked by watching the Space Shuttle missions on television. She pursued postdoctoral research in comparative physiology at the University of British Columbia, delving into the intriguing world of diving physiology and behavior of emperor penguins in Antarctica. This research allowed her to unveil the secrets of these incredible creatures and shed light on their adaptations to extreme aquatic environments. Meir’s talent and expertise were further recognized when she participated in ESA CAVES, a training course where international astronauts undertake missions in a space-analogue cave environment. On September 25, 2019, Meir’s dream culminated in her launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Soyuz MS-15. She served as a Flight Engineer during Expeditions 61 and 62, conducting critical experiments, carrying out maintenance tasks, and contributing to the overall success of the missions. One of the most significant milestones in Meir’s career occurred on October 18, 2019, when she and Christina Koch made history as the first women to participate in an all-female spacewalk. Meir’s remarkable contributions have earned her numerous accolades and recognition, including being named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

Mary L. Cleave

Mary Louise Cleave is an American engineer and former NASA astronaut. Born on February 5, 1947, in Southampton, New York, she grew up in Great Neck, New York, with her parents, Howard and Barbara Cleave, who were both teachers. Cleave has two sisters, Trudy Carter and Barbara “Bobbie” Cleave Bosworth. Her achievements continue to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers, and her contributions to women’s history and breaking gender barriers in the field highlight the impact of her work.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

Kayla Barron

Kayla Jane Barron is an American submarine warfare officer, engineer, and NASA astronaut. She began her journey to becoming an astronaut in 2017 when she was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Group 22. Barron’s first spaceflight was on November 10, 2021, as part of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. Her dedication, achievements, and desire to make a positive impact inspire many and serve as a role model for future generations.

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United StatesAstronaut

Kathryn C. Thornton

Kathryn Ryan Cordell Thornton, born on August 17, 1952, is an esteemed American scientist and former NASA astronaut who has left an indelible mark on both space exploration and academia.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Nicole Aunapu Mann

Nicole “Duke” Victoria Aunapu Mann, born in 1977 in Penngrove, California, embraced her Wailaki heritage and became an accomplished astronaut. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the US Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree from Stanford University. After serving in the US Marine Corps, Mann was selected as a NASA astronaut and made history as the first Native American woman to go to space. Her achievements have broken barriers and inspired future generations of women.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Janice E. Voss

Janice Elaine Voss was an American engineer and NASA astronaut. She achieved great success in the field of space exploration, flying in space five times. Her dedication to her work and her accomplishments as an astronaut have left an indelible mark on the field of space exploration.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanAstronaut

Jessica Watkins

Jessica Andrea Watkins, the accomplished American astronaut, geologist, and aquanaut, has left an indelible mark on the world of space exploration. Born on May 14, 1988, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to Michael and Carolyn Watkins, Jessica’s upbringing was marked by curiosity, ambition, and a drive for excellence.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space, is an American engineer, former astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center. Born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, Ochoa overcame humble beginnings to become a trailblazer in the field of space exploration and a respected leader in the scientific community. Her achievements have not only advanced our understanding of optics and space technology but also broken barriers for women and minorities in STEM.

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Jasmin Moghbeli

Jasmin Moghbeli is an American U.S. Marine Corps test pilot and NASA astronaut. She grew up in Baldwin, New York, and attended Baldwin Senior High School. Moghbeli’s dedication and passion for aviation led her to become a helicopter test pilot and ultimately, a NASA astronaut. She has received numerous awards and accolades throughout her career and is set to command the SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station in 2023. Her remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring aviators and young women worldwide.

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United StatesAstronautAstrophysicist

Tamara E. Jernigan

Tamara Elizabeth “Tammy” Jernigan is an American astrophysicist and former NASA astronaut. She completed five Space Shuttle program missions and logged over 1512 hours in space. Jernigan left NASA in 2001 and currently holds a position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

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United StatesAstronautChemist

Catherine Coleman

Cady Coleman, an American chemist and former NASA astronaut, has made significant contributions to space exploration. With expertise in chemistry and engineering, she has spent a total of 159 days in space and is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions. Her pioneering work has inspired many, particularly women, to pursue careers in STEM fields.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-born American astronaut and aerospace engineer, made history as the first woman of Indian origin to fly to space. She displayed a passion for aviation from a young age and went on to earn multiple degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Chawla’s career at NASA and her contributions to the field are commendable. Tragically, she lost her life during her second space mission, leaving behind a remarkable legacy and numerous tributes in her honor.

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United StatesAstronautAviation

Pamela Melroy

Pamela Ann Melroy is an American retired United States Air Force officer and NASA astronaut known for her exceptional career in space exploration. From her early years, Melroy displayed a passion for the universe and pursued higher education in Physics and Astronomy. She had a distinguished military career and played significant roles in operations like the United States invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. As an astronaut, she piloted Space Shuttle missions and commanded mission STS-120. Melroy’s contributions to the aerospace industry continue to this day, and she is recognized as a trailblazer for women in space.

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United StatesAstronautAviation

Eileen Collins

Eileen Marie Collins, the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle and command a Space Shuttle mission, had a passion for aviation and space exploration from a young age. She accomplished remarkable feats throughout her groundbreaking career, inspiring future generations of women in the field of space exploration.

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Merritt Moore

Merritt Moore (born February 24, 1988) is an American ballerina and quantum physicist. She studied at both the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Moore works to combine her interests in physics and ballet through her research and dedication in both the arts and sciences.

Moore has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. She has danced professionally for many ballet companies across the world including the English National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet. Moore has performed in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker among other ballets.

She was featured as one of the contestants on BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ in 2017. Moore has also been recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women competition. She has spoken at TEDxOxbridge in 2013 and performed a ballet duet with dance partner Adam Kirkham.

In addition to her achievements in both ballet and physics, Moore started SASters – a group that encourages women to pursue their dreams in the arts and sciences. Currently, she is completing her residency at Harvard University’s ArtLab where her work combines science and dance through the use of robots.

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Wendy B. Lawrence

Wendy Barrien Lawrence (born July 2, 1959) is a retired United States Navy Captain, an engineer, and former helicopter pilot and NASA astronaut. She was the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to fly into space and she has also visited the Russian Space Station Mir. She was a mission specialist on STS-114, the first Space Shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She is married to Cathy Watson, a former NASA scientist.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

Serena Auñón-Chancellor

Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor, an American physician, engineer, and NASA astronaut, has made significant contributions to space exploration and aerospace medicine. She has received prestigious awards for her work, including the 2009 Julian E. Ward Memorial Award from the Aerospace Medical Association. Her dedication to advancing medical knowledge and ensuring the well-being of astronauts has left an indelible mark on the field of aerospace medicine.

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FranceAstronautDoctor

Claudie Haigneré

Claudie Haigneré, renowned French doctor, politician, and former astronaut, made significant contributions to space exploration throughout her career. She became the first French woman in space in 1996 and later commanded a Soyuz capsule during reentry in 1999, becoming the first woman qualified to do so. Haigneré’s achievements as an astronaut, combined with her work in politics and science, have left an indelible mark on society.

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United StatesAstronautEducator

Christa McAuliffe

Sharon Christa McAuliffe, born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1948, was an American teacher and astronaut. Her dream of becoming an astronaut was ignited after watching John Glenn orbit the Earth. Selected as the primary candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Project, she tragically lost her life in the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster. Her lasting legacy includes inspiring countless students and educators to pursue STEM fields. Honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004, she remains an enduring symbol of courage and education.

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United StatesAstronaut

Mary Ellen Weber

Mary Ellen Weber (born August 24, 1962) is an American executive, scientist, aviator, and former NASA astronaut. She has made significant contributions to the fields of chemistry, engineering, and space exploration, leaving a lasting impact on society.

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United StatesAstronaut

Janet L. Kavandi

Janet Lynn Kavandi, a native of Carthage, Missouri, was born on July 17, 1959. She is an American scientist and a NASA astronaut who has made significant contributions to space exploration. Kavandi is known for her impressive career as an astronaut, as well as her leadership roles within NASA.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper

Heidemarie Martha Stefanyshyn-Piper, born in 1963 in St. Paul, Minnesota, is an astronaut and a role model for women in the field of science and engineering. With Ukrainian-American heritage, she grew up in the Ukrainian cultural community of Minneapolis-Saint Paul. She pursued her passion for engineering at MIT and went on to have an impressive career in the military and as a NASA astronaut, completing five spacewalks and earning multiple prestigious awards. Her achievements have inspired countless individuals to pursue careers in STEM.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Sandra Magnus

Sandra Hall Magnus is an American engineer and former NASA astronaut. Born on October 30, 1964, in Belleville, Illinois, Magnus has made significant contributions to the field of space exploration and has left an indelible mark on the history of women in STEM.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Lisa Nowak

Lisa Marie Nowak, an American aeronautical engineer, former NASA astronaut, and United States Navy officer, has had both notable achievements and personal challenges in her life. She excelled academically and pursued her passion for aviation and space, ultimately becoming an astronaut and flying aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. However, her career took a downward turn after she was involved in a criminal incident, resulting in her arrest and termination from both NASA and the Navy. Despite this, her contributions to aeronautics are still significant and she serves as an inspiration for women in STEM.

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United StatesAstronautChemist

Tracy Caldwell Dyson

Tracy Caldwell Dyson, an American chemist and NASA astronaut, was born on August 14, 1969, in Arcadia, California. Her passion for science and exploration began at a young age, and she pursued her interests throughout her education. With a focus on atmospheric chemistry, Caldwell Dyson made significant contributions to our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere. She joined NASA in 1998 and went on to participate in two space missions, playing a vital role in the construction of the International Space Station and furthering scientific research. Her accomplishments have not only left a lasting impact on space exploration but have also inspired future generations.

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South KoreaAstronautBiotechnologist

Yi So-yeon

Yi So-yeon, the first Korean to venture into space, made history with her space journey in 2008. Raised in Gwangju, South Korea, Yi’s passion for science and space led her to excel in her studies and pursue a career in mechanics. Her historic achievement has not only expanded our knowledge of space but also inspired future generations of South Korean astronauts.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

Karen Nyberg

Karen LuJean Nyberg, born on October 7, 1969, is an American mechanical engineer and retired NASA astronaut. With a remarkable career in space exploration, Nyberg became the 50th woman to venture into space on her inaugural mission in 2008. Her journey in the cosmos spanned a total of 180 days, with missions in 2008 and 2013, solidifying her place in history.

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United StatesAstronautEngineer

K. Megan McArthur

Megan McArthur, an American oceanographer, engineer, and NASA astronaut, has made significant contributions to space exploration. Her journey to becoming an astronaut started with a strong academic background and she has been a part of missions that have shaped our understanding of the universe. McArthur’s dedication and expertise have made her an influential figure in both women’s history and the world of space exploration.

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United StatesAstronaut

Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger was born in 1975 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. From a young age, she had a passion for space and science. With the support of her parents, she pursued her dreams and became an accomplished astronaut. Her journey in space exploration and dedication to education have made her a role model for aspiring scientists.

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JapanAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Naoko Yamazaki

Naoko Yamazaki is a Japanese engineer and former astronaut who made history as the second Japanese woman to fly in space. She played a crucial role in the development of the Japanese Experiment Module and completed a mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2010. Yamazaki’s dedication to her field and groundbreaking achievements have made her an inspiration in the world of space exploration.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Nancy J. Currie-Gregg

Nancy Jane Currie-Gregg is an American engineer, United States Army officer, and a NASA astronaut. With a remarkable career spanning over 22 years in the United States Army, where she holds the rank of colonel, Currie-Gregg has also made significant contributions to space exploration as a member of NASA. She has participated in four space shuttle missions: STS-57, STS-70, STS-88, and STS-109, accumulating 1,000 hours in space. Currently, she serves as a professor of practice in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Anne McClain

Anne Charlotte McClain, born on June 7, 1979, is a Colonel in the U.S. Army, engineer, and a NASA astronaut. Her call sign, “Annimal,” is a nod to her rugby days and is also used in her Twitter handle, AstroAnnimal. McClain’s journey to becoming an astronaut is a testament to her determination and resilience.

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RussiaAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Yelena Kondakova

Yelena Vladimirovna Kondakova, born in 1957 in Mytishchi, Russia, was a pioneering cosmonaut who became the first woman to undertake a long-duration spaceflight. Her contributions to space exploration were revolutionary and paved the way for future generations of women in STEM fields. Kondakova’s legacy as a trailblazer in the field of space exploration continues to inspire women to reach new heights.

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ItalyAstronaut

Samantha Cristoforetti

Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space, holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut. Her achievements have not only advanced space exploration but have also inspired many, especially young girls, to pursue STEM careers and have opened doors for women in the space industry.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Susan Kilrain

Susan Kilrain, born on October 24, 1961, in Augusta, Georgia, is an American aerospace engineer, former United States Navy officer, and former NASA astronaut. She holds the distinction of being the youngest person to pilot a Space Shuttle and has over 3,000 hours of flight time. Kilrain’s groundbreaking achievements have solidified her place in history and paved the way for future generations of women in the field.

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United StatesAstronautBiologist

Kathleen Rubins

Kathleen Hallisey Rubins is an American microbiologist and NASA astronaut. She has had a significant impact on space exploration and serves as a role model for women in science. Rubins became the 60th woman to fly in space when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 7, 2016. After spending three and a half months in space, she returned to Earth in Kazakhstan on October 30, 2016.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Judith Resnik

Judith Resnik, a pioneer in multiple fields including electrical engineering, software engineering, and biomedical engineering, tragically lost her life in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. She was the first Jewish woman in space and her dedication to her work inspired a new generation of women in STEM. Her contributions to space exploration and women’s history continue to be celebrated.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerAstronaut

Marsha Ivins

Marsha Sue Ivins, born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1951, is an American retired astronaut and a veteran of five Space Shuttle missions. She is widely recognized for her significant contributions to NASA and her remarkable achievements in space exploration.

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United StatesAstronaut

Susan Helms

Susan Jane Helms, a retired United States Air Force lieutenant general and NASA astronaut, made significant contributions to both civil and military space programs throughout her career. She served on five Space Shuttle missions, including a record-setting spacewalk, and spent over five months on the International Space Station. After her NASA career, Helms continued her work in the U.S. Air Force, culminating as the commander of the 14th Air Force and the Joint Functional Component Command for Space. Her achievements have earned her widespread recognition and induction into the National Academy of Engineering.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanAstronaut

Mae Jemison

Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space, was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama. Inspired by Star Trek and Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal of Lieutenant Uhura, Jemison pursued her passion for science and space exploration. She earned degrees in chemical engineering and African and African-American studies from Stanford University before obtaining her medical degree from Cornell University. Jemison joined the Peace Corps in 1983 and worked as a doctor in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In 1987, she was selected to join NASA’s astronaut corps and made history aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Jemison continues to promote science education and support space exploration through her various endeavors and has received numerous awards and accolades for her pioneering achievements.

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CanadaAstronaut

Roberta Bondar

Roberta Bondar, born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1945, is Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist to travel to space. Her groundbreaking research focused on studying the effects of low-gravity situations on the human body, allowing NASA to better prepare astronauts for long-duration missions. Bondar’s contributions to space medicine research, along with her passion for nature conservation and environmentalism, have made her a respected figure in the scientific and medical communities.

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United StatesAstronautBiologist

Millie Hughes-Fulford

Millie Hughes-Fulford (1945-2021) was a pioneering American medical investigator, molecular biologist, and NASA payload specialist. Her groundbreaking mission aboard STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS 1) in 1991 marked her as the first female payload specialist in orbit and the first representative of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in space. Hughes-Fulford’s exceptional achievements and dedication to scientific exploration have inspired generations of women in STEM fields.

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