Spacewoman power: 4 women in orbit at same time

By | April 3, 2010

Spacewoman power 4 women in orbit at same time

Space is about to have a female population explosion.

One woman already is circling Earth in a Russian capsule, bound for the International Space Station. Early Monday morning, NASA will attempt to launch three more women to the orbiting outpost — along with four men — aboard shuttle Discovery.

It will be the most women in space at the same time.

Men still will outnumber the women by more than 2-to-1 aboard the shuttle and station, but that won’t take away from the remarkable achievement, coming 27 years after America’s first female astronaut, Sally Ride, rocketed into space.

A former schoolteacher is among the four female astronauts about to make history, as well as a chemist who once worked as an electrician, and two aerospace engineers. Three are American; one is Japanese.

But it makes no difference to educator-astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger’s 3-year-old daughter Cambria.

“To her, flying is cool. Running around is being cool. Just learning and growing up as a kid is cool. There aren’t a lot of distinctions, and that’s how I want it to be,” said Metcalf-Lindenburger, 34, who used to teach high school science in Vancouver, Wash.

Indeed, the head of NASA’s space operations was unaware of the imminent women-in-space record until a reporter brought it up last week. Three women have flown together in space before, but only a few times.

“Maybe that’s a credit to the system, right? That I don’t think of it as male or female,” said space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier. “I just think of it as a talented group of people going to do their job in space.” …

via Spacewoman power: 4 women in orbit at same time – Yahoo! News.

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