A 4th grader, in a live Q&A with NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Shannon Walker on the International Space Station, has posed a great question about the first woman to walk on the moon and it’s significance.

Equality in space has, unfortunately, reflected the gradual and slow process of equality on Earth. Neither has been achieved, yet. 

Equality is ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to achieve, succeed and make the most of their lives and talents.

True equality provides the same opportunities to all individuals regardless of where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. 

Sadly in space, as on Earth, we still have a long way to go until it’s no longer an achievement, but the norm to have woman pushing the boundaries of space exploration.

In general, women are better able to handle the rigors of high g-force during take off, are smaller, lighter, consume less calories and use less resources.  Additionally, in testing, women out performed men repeatedly in simulated space flight. 

Despite this, to date, twelve people have walked on the surface of the moon, and not one of them was a woman. The space agencies of the world are steeped in historical misogynism. 

Women achieving firsts in space is remarkable and significant, but largely so because we have failed to achieve equality. 

Let’s select the best human for the task. Let’s work together as a species, realising that we are insignificantly small in this galaxy. Our strength, like the ant, is in our ability to collectively solve problems and work together. 

There is really nothing we can’t achieve, given enough resolve, time and resources. 

Much as Kathryn Janeway and Jean-Luc Picard engaged us on the small screen, we must boldly explore the big screen that surrounds our tiny planet, the infinite expanse of the universe.   

Some of the firsts for women in space: 

  • Valentina Tereshkova – First Woman in Space – 1963
  • Sally K. Ride – Second Woman in Space – June 18, 1983
  • Kathy Lueders – NASA’s 1st female spaceflight chief – June, 2020
  • Christina Koch and Jessica Meir – First All-Female Spacewalk – October 16, 2020
  • Susan Helms – The first woman to be on an ISS expedition crew – March 2001 until August 2001
  • First woman to walk on the moon…

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