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America's First Women Astronauts

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0545
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When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s, the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots—a group then made up exclusively of men—had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight. Eventually NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a candidate pool of 8,000, six elite women were selected in 1978: Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon.

Drawing on her new book, The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts, journalist Loren Grush discusses how these brilliant and courageous women endured claustrophobic—and sometimes deeply sexist—media attention, underwent rigorous survival training, and prepared for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit.

Together, the Six helped build the tools that made the space program run. One of the group, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet. Everyone knows of Sally Ride’s history-making first space ride, but each of the Six would make their mark. Grush recounts the remarkable true story of America’s first women astronauts—six extraordinary women, each making history as they orbited aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle.

Copies of The Six are available for sale.

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Inside Science