Women In Space Exploration

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In a period of incredible social turmoil and change, the United States space program was a project that brought Americans together under the same moon, same stars, same sky. However, right from the beginning, it was clear that the space program did not fully represent America. While white men were at the forefront of space exploration, women and people of color were originally overlooked. As these groups made more and more progress and had a greater and greater presence, they continued to inspire the rest of America until every gender and racial barrier in space was broken.

After World War II, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union began to escalate as both countries poured effort into space missile programs. Although both had powerful names and appearances to uphold coming out of the war, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space, Sputnik 1, in October of 1957. The United States scrambled to meet the challenge, and sent their first satellite into space in 1958, their first man into space in 1961, and their first man into orbit in 1962.

Where are the women throughout all of this progress and exploration? From the start, women were confined to
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In 1960 Dr. Randy Lovelace began to independently recruit women such as Geraldyn Cobb and Jane Hart for testing under the hypothesis that women’s smaller size would make them more practically suitable for space flight than men. The women underwent weeks of extensive physical and mental tests that culminated in measures to use naval equipment in Pensacola, Florida. However, just as the women were preparing to leave, they discovered that NASA failed to request their tests and the Navy would not allow Dr. Lovelace to use the facilities for an unofficial

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