A new milestone for astronauts. China sends the first woman to the space station

Shortly after midnight there, China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 13. Its target is the still unfinished Chinese space station, and the ship’s crew will remain on it for the next six months. This is the second group of astronauts to go to Tianjung Station. For the first time, however, a woman is among them.

For the forty-one-year-old Ja-ping Wang, a trip into space is not new, in 2013 she took part in the Shenzhou 10 mission as the second Chinese astronaut. This time, according to the web CNN was supposed to reach the championship as well, as it would be the first Chinese woman to ascend into free space. This will add another milestone in the history of women’s cosmonautics.

Wangs on a ship does the company was 55-year-old Tea Chi-kang, who was appointed head of the mission, and 41-year-old Jie Kuang-fu, who headed into space for the first time. Work is still underway on the space station where the trio is heading, but it should be completed by the end of next year.

“When I first looked out the window, I realized the true meaning of the power of life – that beauty was simply incomprehensible,” Wang recalled in conversation of 2015 for CNN. In addition, a space program involving human crews would, in her opinion, be incomplete without astronauts.

Women in space

The first woman to write history on behalf of China in this field was now forty-three-year-old Liu Yang. She was the first citizen of the People’s Republic of China to take off into space in 2012 with the Shenzhou 9 mission and spend a total of 13 days off Earth. Although it was a milestone celebrated by the Chinese, its flight did not start until 49 years after the woman entered space for the first time.

The first significant moment came in 1963, when the Soviet Union managed to send Valentina Tereshkova into space on June 16. She then spent almost three days in space with the ship Vostok 6, during which she orbited the planet Earth several times. At the same time, Těreškovová still holds the title the youngest women in space.

Eighty-two-year-old Wally Funk, who has looked into space thanks to Blue Origin and billionaire Jeff Bezos, has been claiming to be the oldest woman in space since July. For several months, Funk held the title of the oldest man in the universe, but this week he replaced 90-year-old actor William Shatner, whom people know thanks to the sci-fi series Star Trek.

“I’ve been waiting a long time to finally get there.” she stated Funk at a press conference after the successful flight of the New Shepard rocket. The senior is one of the last living members of the so-called Mercury 13. It is a group of thirteen American women who successfully passed the same physiological tests as astronauts that NASA selected in 1959 for the Mercury project, which aimed to transport humans to Earth’s orbit. However, they did not look into space.

The first American to enter space was Sally Ride in 1983. The astronaut was part of the STS-7 mission and entered space thanks to the Challenger space shuttle. However, the field was still dominated by men, so the familiar Ride is associated with the flight, for example question engineers whether 100 tampons will be enough for her week-long stay in orbit.

Varsha Jain, a gynecologist and researcher at King’s College London, previously for CNN she statedthat while most systems in the human body are strongly affected during spaceflight, the female menstrual cycle does not appear to change. However, most women choose to use contraception during training and the flight itself to delay menstruation.

Světlana Savická from the Soviet Union, who was the first woman to enter free space in 1984, also has a place among women’s space milestones. Savická was also the second woman in the universe; its first flight took place in 1982, almost two decades after Tereshkova’s mission.

Dozens of women have visited space since 1963, but they hold only 11% of the total number of astronauts. But how points out International Telecommunication Union at the United Nations, women have for decades played a vital role in enabling the development of space flights. At the same time, they often stay on Earth and do their work behind the scenes.

One of them is, for example, Katherine Johnson, a mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were crucial to the success of American manned flights. During her career at NASA, she also participated in the Apollo program, which aimed to land people on the moon.

For the same program, engineer Margaret Hamilton developed flight software essential for mission safety.

From the present, it is possible to mention, for example, Swati Mohan, an engineer who is responsible for guiding and directing NASA missions. In February of this year, Mohan became the face of a successful landing of the Perseverance reconnaissance vehicle on Mars.



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