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What the 2010s taught us about women in space

14 Jan 2020, 15:37 UTC
What the 2010s taught us about women in space
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Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir captured the world’s attention with their historic all-woman space walk at the end of 2019. The 2020s is beginning with the duo scheduled to repeat their historic first twice more by the end of January. Is the future of spaceflight female?
If popular culture mirrors society, it is clear society craves more women in science, engineering, and space — not in skimpy skirts and silent roles, but as central characters that drive the story. Hidden Figures, a 2016 movie based on the book by the same name, told us the forgotten story of three African American women who helped launch John Glenn into orbit during America’s Jim Crow era.
Half a century later, their contributions finally got the recognition they deserve: the movie was nominated for three Oscar awards in 2017, the street in front of NASA’s headquarters in Washington was renamed Hidden Figures Way last summer, and Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson received Congressional Gold Medals last fall.
During the 2010s, the Hollywood blockbusters Interstellar, Gravity, and Arrival all featured women in leading roles as scientists and astronauts. For All Mankind, an Apple TV+ show that debuted last fall, and the ...

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