Women in Anthropology

Women in Chemistry

Women in Engineering

Women in Environmental Sciences

Women in Information Technology

Women in Medicine

Women in Physics

Women in Space Exploration

Women Inventors



By Andrew Morkes and Shaina Indovino

Mason Crest Philadelphia • Miami

PO Box 221876, Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-4499-9 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4222-4506-4 ebook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7310-4 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Production: Andy Morkes Cover and Interior Design: Tim Palin Layout: Priceless Digital Media Publisher’s Note: Websites listed in this book were active at the time of publication. The publisher is not responsible for websites that have changed their address or discontinued operation since the date of publication. The publisher reviews and updates the websites each time the book is reprinted.

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Chapter 1: Careers in Space Exploration Mae Jemison: First African American Woman in Space Chapter 2: Terms of the Trade Eileen Collins: Maneuvering Around the Space Station Chapter 3: Educational Training and Salaries

Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space

Chapter 4: Exploring Careers in Space Research and Exploration

Peggy Whitson: International Space Station Commander

Chapter 5: The Future of Space Exploration and Careers 78 Shannon Lucid: NASA Chief Scientist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Further Reading and Internet Resources 90 Educational Video Links 91 Index 92 Photo Credits 95 Author and Consultant Biographies 96

Key Icons to Look For

WORDS TO UNDERSTAND: These words, with their easy-to-understand definitions, will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. SIDEBARS: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. RESEARCH PROJECTS: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.


Have you wondered how the natural world works? Are you curious how science could help sick people get better? Do you want to learn more about our planet and universe? Are you excited to use technology to learn and share ideas? Do you want to build something new? Scientists, engineers, and doctors are among the many types of people who think deeply about science and nature, who often have new ideas on how to improve life in our world. We live in a remarkable time in human history. The level of understanding and rate of progress in science and technology have never been greater. Major advances in these areas include the following: • Computer scientists and engineers are building

mobile and internet technology to help people access and share information at incredible speeds.

An astronaut

participates in an untethered space walk.

• Biologists and chemists are creating medicines that can target and get rid of harmful cancer cells in the body. • Engineers are guiding robots on Mars to explore the history of water on that planet. • Physicists are using math and experiments to estimate the age of the universe to be greater than 13 billion years. • Scientists and engineers are building hybrid cars that can be better for our environment. Scientists are interested in discovering and understanding key principles in nature, including biological, chemical, mathematical, and physical aspects of our world. They observe, measure, and experiment in a systematic way in order to test and improve their understanding. Engineers focus on applying scientific knowledge and math to find creative solutions for technical problems and to develop real products for people to use. There are many types of engineering, including computer, electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, and biomedical engineering. Some people have also found that studying science or engineering can help them succeed in other professions such as law, business, and medicine. Both women and men can be successful in science and engineering. This series provides information on education and careers in a variety of science fields. It also highlights women leaders who have made significant contributions across many scientific fields, including chemistry, medicine, anthropology, engineering, and physics. Historically, women have faced barriers to training and building careers in science, which makes some of these stories even more amazing. While not all barriers have been overcome, our society has made tremendous progress in educating and advancing women in science. Today, there are schools, organizations, and resources that help women to pursue careers as scientists or engineers at the highest levels of achievement and leadership. The goals of this series are to help you with the following: 1. Learn about women scientists, engineers, doctors, and inventors who have made a major impact in science and our society



2. Understand different types of science and engineering and key terms in these fields 3. Learn more about the variety of educational paths one can pursue to enter these careers 4. Explore science and math in school and real life 5. Learn about the employment outlook in science and engineering specialties You can do a lot of things to learn more about science, math, and engineering. Explore topics in books or online, take a class at school, go to science camp, or do experiments at home. More important, talk to a real scientist, doctor, or engineer! Call or email your local college to find students and professors. They would love to meet with you. Ask your doctors about their education and training. Or you can check out these helpful resources: • NOVA has very cool videos about science, including profiles on real-life women scientists and engineers: www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova. • National Geographic has excellent photos and stories to inspire people to care about the planet: www.nationalgeographic.com/science. Here are examples of online courses for students, of which many are free: 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare for high school: https://ocw.mit.edu/high-school 2. Khan Academy tutorials and courses: www.khanacademy.org 3. Stanford University Online High School: https://onlinehighschool.stanford.edu Other skills will become important as you get older. Build strong communication skills by asking questions and sharing your ideas in class. Ask for advice or help when needed from your teachers, mentors, tutors, or classmates. Be curious and resilient: Learn from your successes and mistakes. The best scientists and engineers do.



A space shuttle launches on a mission. The shuttle program operated from 1981 to 2011.

Learning science and math is one of the most important things that you can do in school. Knowledge and experience in these areas will teach you how to think and how the world works, and they can provide you with many adventures and paths in life. I hope you will explore science, engineering, and medicine—you could make a difference in this world. Ann Lee-Karlon, PhD Past-President, Association for Women in Science



Words to Understand adapt: to become used to celestial body: any naturally occurring body (e.g., stars, planets) that is outside of Earth’s atmosphere filtration: the process by which a substance is passed through

a screen or other material to get rid of unwanted parts mission: a planned activity to accomplish a goal simulate: to pretend or imitate a situation



The stars, planets, and other celestial bodies have fascinated people since the first humans looked at the night sky. Some early cultures believed that gods lived in the heavens. Others supposed that the passing of a comet or the sight of a solar eclipse was a sign of good or bad things to come. The Mayans, ancient Chinese, and other early cultures used astronomy to keep track of time and try to predict the future. And the stars and planets have been used since prehistory to navigate on land and water.

As research methods and early astronomical observation tools were developed, scientists

ASTRONAUTS AND COSMONAUTS What is the difference between an astronaut and cosmonaut? Absolutely nothing! They are simply different words used by different countries to describe the same job. In the United States, a person who works in space is an astronaut. In Russia, they are called a cosmonaut. As more countries send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), additional country- specific names have been developed for astronauts. For example, Chinese astronauts are known as taikonauts, while those in France are known as spationautes (although they also may be referred to as astronauts).

began trying to learn facts about the heavens. In the 1960s, the idea of human exploration of space became a reality. The United States and Soviet Union competed to launch the first man into space. (At the time, both countries did not allow women to become astronauts.) On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. Just 23 days later, American astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to journey to space.



It took until 1983 for the first American woman, Sally Ride, to travel to space.

The 1960s were full of space exploration milestones. In 1962, John Glenn made the first US manned orbital flight aboard Mercury-Atlas 6, and in 1963, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly into space. (It took until 1983 for the first American woman, Sally Ride, to travel to space.) And in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. Astronauts play an important role in space exploration, but there are many other career opportunities for people who are interested in space. Since the moon landing, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—the agency that oversees government-sponsored space exploration in the US—and space agencies of other countries have worked to expand our knowledge of space. In recent years, private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have partnered with NASA and other space agencies, as well as have worked independently, to build spacecraft and investigate space using telescopes and other technology.



This is an exciting time in space exploration. Advances in scientific research and technology continue to occur, allowing astronomers, astrophysicists, astrogeologists, and other scientists and researchers to make discoveries that help us to better understand the vast universe and make life better on Earth. They are also building spacecraft that may return to the moon, visit Mars, land on an asteroid, and otherwise explore the vast reaches of space. Astronauts who are trained and employed by private companies will eventually travel to space alongside astronauts from NASA and other space agencies. NASA has also announced that it will begin allowing a few private astronauts to stay at the ISS each year. It will partner with private companies, such as SpaceX, to send tourists to the ISS. Aspiring private astronauts had better have big bank accounts. The New York Times reports that a single night at the ISS will cost $35,000!

The International Space Station.

THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION For a long time, different countries worked alone in their mission to study and visit space. The most notable of these are the United States and Russia. Today, different countries know it’s best to work together in our pursuit of knowledge. The ISS is how we do that. It’s the largest satellite in orbit and has been inhabited for more than two decades. How did we get something so big into space in the first place? Over time. More and more pieces of the space station are still being launched into space and connected to the satellite that is already there. Five organizations that contribute are NASA (United States), RKA (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). These countries help fund the projects and send trained astronauts to the space station. Astronauts from more than fifteen countries have visited the ISS. Visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station to learn more.


Although women were not included among the first groups of astronauts and cosmonauts, they have made great strides in space, as well as on Earth. From Valentina Tereshkova and Sally Ride to Mae Jemison, Peggy Whitson, and Christina Koch, you will learn about some space exploration all-stars in this book. Women also have been major contributors in space science. Do you like science? Are you curious and enjoy solving problems and making discoveries? If so, there are great opportunities waiting for you in space research and exploration. Perhaps you’ll be the first woman to walk on Mars, or explore an asteroid. Or maybe you’ll find the answers to big scientific questions such as “What is dark matter?”, “How did the universe begin?”, “Is there other life in the universe?” These and other questions are waiting to be answered by people just like you. Now let’s get started investigating careers in space exploration.


VALENTINA TERESHKOVA: FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman

to have ever entered space, and her main job was to see how her body reacted to it. She was born on March 6, 1937, in Russia. She had not

always dreamed of one day entering space. Instead, her first passion (a love for doing something) was for parachuting and skydiving. She made her first jump at the age of 22, and she became very good at it. Her experience as a skydiver is what qualified

her to become a cosmonaut. After the first male cosmonaut traveled to outer space, the Russian government decided to send a woman into space. Tereshkova was chosen just one year later. Along with her, four other women were chosen to train as cosmonauts. Lucky for Tereshkova, one of the requirements for being a cosmonaut was experience in skydiving! In addition, her father was a war hero who died when she was two. This may have also helped the government choose her. Training as a cosmonaut in Tereshkova’s day was not much different from what it is today. She was prepared for weightlessness and isolation, and trained in engineering. Before takeoff, Tereshkova was required to perform a minimum of 120 parachute jumps. This is because cosmonauts at the time were required to jump from their spacecraft and use a parachute to land safely on Earth’s surface when they returned from their mission. Tereshkova entered space on June 16, 1963, in a spacecraft known as the Vostok 6 , making history as the first woman to enter space. Tereshkova spent about three days in space, orbiting the earth forty-eight times. Up until that point, no one, not even men, had spent that much time in space. What Tereshkova discovered was not much different from what happened to male cosmonauts. She felt a little sick to her stomach and uncomfortable, but she was fine otherwise. This proved that women could perform in space just as well as men could.

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