2013.10.26

Actually, in the future, “the best man for the job may be a woman.” That’s what the sign over Dr. Anna Fisher’s desk in Houston reads. None of Dr. Fisher’s new astronaut colleagues would bother to disagree. Initially, there was a lot of media attention, and some new space clothing had to be designed. Otherwise, neither Dr. Fisher, fellow physician Rhea Seddon, biochemist Shannon Lucid, electrical engineer Judith Resnik, physicist Sally Ride, geologist Kathryn Sullivan nor five more recently appointed women astronaut candidates have disrupted the previously masculine normalcy of Building Four, the astronaut headquarters at the Johnson Space Center.

Rick Gore, “When the Space Shuttle Finally Flies”, National Geographic March 1981.

Anna Fisher became the first mother in space. Rhea Seddon surpassed her astronaut husband’s time in space. Shannon Lucid was the first woman awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Judith Resnik was the second, who later died in the 1986 Challenger disaster. Kathryn Sullivan was the first American woman to perform a spacewalk.