Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16: First Women Astronauts Selected by NASA

Sally Ride - 1st American Woman in Space

1978

January 16 - NASA Group 8 - TFNG (Thirty-Five New Guys) - USA

Pilots: Daniel BrandensteinMichael CoatsRichard CoveyJohn CreightonRobert GibsonFrederick D. GregoryFrederick HauckJon McBrideFrancis "Dick" ScobeeBrewster ShawLoren ShriverDavid WalkerDonald Williams
Mission specialists: Guion BlufordJames BuchliJohn FabianAnna FisherDale GardnerS. David GriggsTerry HartSteven HawleyJeffrey HoffmanShannon LucidRonald McNairRichard MullaneSteven NagelGeorge NelsonEllison OnizukaJudith ResnikSally RideRhea SeddonRobert StewartKathryn D. SullivanNorman ThagardJames van Hoften
Due to the long delay between the last Apollo mission and the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981, few astronauts from the older groups stayed with NASA. Thus in 1978 a new group of 35 astronauts was selected after 9 years without new astronauts, including the first female astronauts, and also the first black astronauts Guion Bluford and Frederick D. Gregory. Since then, a new group has been selected roughly every two years.
Two different astronaut groups were formed: pilots and mission specialists. Additionally the shuttle program has payload specialists who are selected for a single mission and are not part of the astronaut corps - among them were mostly scientists, also a few politicians and many international astronauts.
Of the first of the post-Apollo group, Sally Ride would become the first American woman in space (STS-7). Later, she would fly with Kathryn Sullivan on a Shuttle flight, in which Sullivan would become the first American woman to perform an EVA. Dr. Thagard, who flew with Ride on STS-7, would later become the first American to be launched on a Russian rocket (Soyuz TM-18 or "Mir-18") to the Mir space station, while Shannon Lucid would serve on the Mir for slightly over 6 months, breaking all American space duration records (both theSkylab 4 record and Thagard's) in 1996-97 until Sunita Williams (who was selected 20 years later) broke Lucid's record. Of this group, Scobee, Resnik, Onizuka, and McNair would perish in the Challenger Disaster. Of the astronauts chosen, only Anna Fisher still remains on active duty (although her tenure included an extended leave of absence from 1989 to 1996), while Robert Gibson and Rhea Seddon became the first active duty astronauts to marry (both are now retired). Although classed as inactive, Shannon Lucid continues to serve as CAPCOM to shuttle missions in 2008. After the Challenger Disaster, Sally Ride would serve on both the Rogers Commission and the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.


1 comment:

  1. Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from wahooart.com, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT7K6

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