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Space exploration through the eyes of women

Jenny Winder, News Writer
Jul 2, 2015, 18:39 UTC

Sen—The European Space Agency (ESA) has teamed up with international photo journalism agency Sipa Press to highlight the important contribution of women in space exploration and to provide role models for young women thinking of a career in space.

In 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space during her Vostok-6 mission. She remains the only woman to have performed a solo spaceflight spending almost three days in orbit.

A further 58 women have flown in space, the most recent being Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who recently completed a record-breaking 200 days in orbit aboard the International Space Station. Cristoforetti said in an interview for the website: “My passion for space has motivated me to pursue my dream of becoming an astronaut.

“But even if I had not become an astronaut, that passion would have given me the motivation to do my absolute best every day, and that kind of drive and passion and motivation is one of the greatest gifts that one can wish for on the journey of life.”

With the belief that space is for everybody, ESA and Sipa Press have launched twin exhibitions, called Space Girls Space Women, that showcase the stories of female students who aspire to work in space, and women already making their careers there. An all-female team of reporters and photographers from Sipa Press met three generations of women involved in space exploration from around the world. There is also a website and a multimedia app for smartphones and tablets available.

The exhibitions are currently in Paris at the Musée des Arts et Métiers and the Grilles du Jardin de l’Observatoire until November, and will then travel around Europe.

You can also check out every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, with Sen’s human spaceflight app.


Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Image credit: Roscosmos