Did you know that today marks the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by a woman? She was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. She orbited the Earth for three days, and that was a good twenty years before NASA sent Sally Ride into space.

Did you know that the second woman in space was Svetlana Savitskaya? In 1984 she became the first woman to “walk in space,” or more technically, to conduct extravehicular activity.

OK, so I’m guessing most of you reading my blog do know that Sally Ride was the first American woman to venture into space, as well as the third woman. But lest we suppose women’s astronautical achievements ended with her, consider that Peggy Whitson spent more time than any other woman on the International Space Station – over 376 days spread over two trips! She was also the first woman to command the International Space Station, and by no means the only woman to take a leadership role in the space program. Eileen Collins was the first woman space shuttle commander.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a link to this wonderful photo of Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Tracy Caldwell and Naoko Yamazaki aboard the aboard the International Space Station.

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