March is Women's History Month, and while we're focused on contemporary women here at Girls Like You and Me, we love learning about women's work and contributions. Last week I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of the NASA Social program to view the launch of an Atlas V rocket and Cygnus spacecraft bound for the International Space Station. I had never seen a launch before. It was awe-inspiring!
I have a ton of photographs to sift through, and lots to share about the cool work that NASA is doing. You can check out some of my photos on our Instagram. I met quite a few women doing really cool work with rockets, robotics, and NASA's upcoming manned flight program, SLS. I got to learn about some of the work that is going toward SLS.
In the meantime, I wanted to share this interview between Gloria Steinem and Sally Ride from 1983. Sally Ride is most famous for being the first American woman in space, but did you know that she was (and still is!) the youngest American astronaut? She was just 32 the first time she went into space in 1983. Ride was a mission specialist on two missions. Unlike the first astronauts, who started off as fighter pilots, the shuttle program (and missions to the ISS) include experts in a variety of scientific disciplines as mission specialists. Sally Ride was a physicist who helped develop Canadarm, the space shuttle's robotic arm.
Even though this interview is more than 30 years old, I think it still sounds fresh and timely. Many women have become astronauts since then, and the new class of astronauts for SLS is comprised of 4 women and 4 men. Sally Ride talks about her love of science, not realizing she wanted to be an astronaut until the opportunity presented itself, but jumping at the chance when it did, and the aspect of the becoming an astronaut that most pulled her out of her comfort zone- it was the media attention!
You can read more from the interview, and more about Sally Ride's story here.