International Women's Day: From Kalpana Chawla to Valentina Tereshkova, five astronauts who left behind a lasting legacy in space science

New Delhi ,

| 08 Mar 2018 , 08:00 PM
IWD: Five astronauts who left behind a lasting legacy in space science (File Photo)
IWD: Five astronauts who left behind a lasting legacy in space science (File Photo)

International (IWD) Women's Day is just around the corner. The global day, being held annually on March 8, celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. This is a proud day for all the victorious, prosperous and courageous ladies out there and has been occurring for well over a century. IWD is also a call for gender parity.

However, International Women's Day neither deals with the idea of feminism nor it believes in fulfilling some needs of a particular female group or organisation. It is just about unity, advocacy, reflection, celebration and honouring the collective efforts of all who care for 'human rights'.

IWD is simply the celebration of being woman!

In today's world, women earned their spurs in different fields. They are stepping outside the home and simply proved that they are not only designed to raise children and run their home with clockwork. From politics to defence to sports to cinema, women are leading in different sectors, giving others courage to rule the world.

Human spaceflight or astronomy is one such sector which is immensely enriched with a series of valuable works done by a group of jewels.

On the account of this special day, here we bring you world's top 5 female astronauts who have made us proud with their outstanding initiatives over the decades.

Also Read: NASA releases compilation of creepy space sounds to make you shiver this Halloween, click here to enjoy

1. Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Tereshkova is known to be the first female astronaut to reach the space. Making a milestone in her journey to space, she conducted several science and biomedical experiments in order to discover the effects of space on human body. Valentina clicked a few photographs that showcases aerosols in the earth’s atmosphere. During her journey to space she piloted the space ship manually. Tereshkova was selected in the Cosmonaut Corps along with three other women and became the first woman to land on the space. Besides that Tereshkova was an expert parachutist, which further added feathers to her glorious crown of success.

2. Dr. Mae Jemison

Jemison is the first black woman to travel to space. Being inspired by American astronaut Sally Ride, Jemison applied to the Astronaut Crops. She joined American space agency NASA in 1987 and in the year 1992, she reached to space. She was a Mission Specialist and conducted experiments on bone cell research on STS-37. Later, she left NASA and established her own company.

3. Dr. Sally Ride

Sally is said to be the first and youngest American woman to travel into space. She led two space missions titled STS-7 and STS-61) and served as a mission specialist. Sally's aim behind those mission was to perform pharmaceutical experiments and deploy satellites. She was also the first person to use satellites in the space. Like Jemison, Sally was also a part of NASA and established the American space agency's Office of Exploration. She also served on Presidential Commissions that was responsible for investigating the disasters of Columbia and Challenger. Over the decades, Sally has been remembered for the outstanding legacy of space knowledge and education, she left behind.

4. Dr. Kalpana Chawla

Chawla was the first Indian woman to make us proud with her significant contribution to space. She was also the second Indian astronaut to land on the space. Kalpana, a PhD in aerospace engineering, took her first flight aboard Columbia in 1994. During her first flight she deployed the Spartan Satellite. She then served as a mission specialist for STS-107 in 2003 aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. In the mission Chawla conducted more than 80 experiments on atmospheric dust, microgravity and astronaut safety. However, disaster hit all the crew members of STS-107 and India lost its one of the youngest gems in the arena of spaceflight.

5. Eileen Collins

Collins was the first female space shuttle pilot and commander for the historic rendezvous of the United States – the Mir Space Station. As a pilot she flew to Mir aboard Atlantis and served as a commander in her next mission to Columbia. The aim behind the mission was to deploy Chandra X-Ray telescope.

With this we wish a very happy women's day to all the beautiful ladies who have dared to fly high despite several atrocities, biasedness and challenges over the decades.

First Published : Thursday, March 08, 2018 03:44 PM
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