Are women better than men? This question will become central to the selection of the crews of the Moon, Mars, and beyond as we colonize space.
In the struggle for gender equality, women have already proven that they can do anything – including invading space, showing that even the sky is the limit to their success.
“The first all-female spacewalk was carried out on the International Space Station in October of 2019, and many other accomplishments have already been accomplished by female astronauts. But there has yet to be a first woman on the surface of the moon (or on Mars).” Katarina Buchholz writes for Statista.
The first woman in space
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova was born in Russia in 1937. At the age of 18, she worked in a textile factory, designing parachutes to help her love skydiving.
In the early 1960s, both the US and Soviet space programs were reaching milestones in space exploration, in an effort to outrun their opponent. In an effort to beat the United States by sending the first woman into space, Soviet officials chose Tereshkova to become the first woman in space.
Tereshkova was launched into space on June 16, 1963, aboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft. After 3 days, Vostok 6 returned to the atmosphere, culminating in Tereshkova and successfully parachuting to Earth after its exit at an altitude of 20 thousand feet. (This was a standard for astronauts at the time.)
“After her historical spaceflight, Valentina Tereshkova was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Hero of the Soviet Union Award … In 1966, Tereshkova became a member of the Supreme Soviet, the national parliament of the USSR, and held the position of the Soviet representative of many international women organizations and events. She did not enter space again, and it was an astronaut’s last space flight until the 1980s. History Channel Reports.
Women though They trained successfully as American astronauts In the 1960s, it took 15 years before the United States fully accepted women in astronaut corps. In 1978, NASA approved six women to become the first female astronauts in the US space program.
One of these was Sally Ride, a physicist who became part of the STS-7 crew on April 30, 1982, where she worked as an important specialist. She was also the first American astronaut to return to space a second time, in 1984.
The ride made history again when she became the first American woman to fly into space a second time on October 5, 1984, on the STS-41G shuttle mission, where she was part of a seven-member crew who spent eight days in space. Another woman, mission specialist Catherine D. Sullivan was also part of this crew, making it NASA’s first space flight with Two Women on board (Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space during that mission),
History Channel Reports.
After that, more than 59 women including astronauts, astronauts, payload specialists, foreign citizens flew in space, and many other women. astronauts They are now preparing for their first trip outside Earth.
Despite tremendous progress, since Sally Ride made her maiden flight, more than 80% of astronauts are still men. The 2013 Incoming Astronaut Class was the first to reach the women’s 50/50 division.
Advantages of female astronauts
There are some reasons that indicate a woman astronauts It may perform better than men in some ways, including:
- Women are lighterSending a lot of weight into space requires fuel, and costs a lot of money. Having more women on the crew could help reduce the cost of space travel.
- Women eat fewer calories and use fewer resources: When you plan to send humans to Mars, It might be a good idea to have more women on staff because they require 15 to 25% fewer calories than men. It also consumes less energy despite having similar activity levels. Additionally, because women are (on average) smaller than men, they produce less waste (carbon dioxide and body secretions), making it easier for spacecraft systems to recycle.
- Space travel affects men and women differentlyDue to the effects of microgravity and radiation, space travel can have many effects on: Astronaut health. Men seem to be less affected by space motion sickness than women, but men are faster to suffer from hearing loss. Men are also more likely to have vision problems, while women tend to have more UTIs.
- A woman can give birth: One idea about Long-term colonization of space It is sending a crew of women to Mars or other colonies. This would reduce travel costs, as the crew made up entirely of women to reproduce over time by artificial means.
And most importantly, men tend to have problems with deteriorating vision, which women do not have as much or as badly. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly – who spent 520 cumulative days in space and has eye problems to prove this – half jokingly wrote in his autobiography that if scientists can’t figure out the cause of these eye problems, we might just have to send an entire female crew to Mars. Nadia Drake He writes for National Geographic.
The women have already proven themselves amazing astronauts. However, there have not been enough studies yet to conclude whether or not it is women It should constitute most – or all – of the early colonists of space.
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