Monday Morning Inspiration: First African American Woman in Space


“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations…If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out … You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.”

                                                                                                         — Dr Mae Jemison

Dr. Mae Jemison  is an American Astronaut & Physician. She was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, AL. She obtained her BS  degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford in 1977 and an M.D. from Cornell University in 1981. She served in the Peace Corps for 2 1/2 years and became the first African American selected to the NASA Astronaut Program in 1987.

She also became the first African American Women in Space when she orbited the Earth for  190 hrs, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds, with six other astronauts on STS-47 mission on September 12 1992.

After leaving NASA in 1993, she taught at Dartmouth College,  and  currently runs BioSentient Corp, a medical technology company. She continues to be a strong advocate for science eduction

March is Women History Month and Women of Aviation Month.

See Also:
Biography.com
NASA Astronaut Bio
Air and Space

Monday Morning Inspiration: First American Woman in Space


Sally Ride

Sally Ride's official astronaut portrait

Photo Courtesy: NASA

Sally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951 in Encino, CA. Older of two daughters, her interest in science grew at an early age. She went on to get a bachelor of science in Physics, a bachelor of arts in English, a master of science and a PhD in physics from Stanford University.

When NASA was looking for woman astronaut candidates in 1977, Sally Ride was one of the six women selected. She became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard Space Shuttle Challenger on June 18th, 1983.

She made two shuttle flights, and later became a champion for science education and a role model for generations. She wrote five science related children’s books and co-founded, Sally Ride Science, to encourage children, especially girls, to study science.

She died of cancer in 2012.

March is Women History Month & Women of Aviation Month.

See Also:

NASA Bio
Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space

Paris Air Show: the hottest show on earth —


Like troops returning from the battlefield the news team has arrived at Shephard Towers victorious after a successful Paris Air Show. Think I’m exaggerating? You don’t know man, you weren’t there! With temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius (over 100 Fahrenheit) walking around the tarmac at Le Bourget was testing to even the most dedicated aviation […]

via Paris Air Show: the hottest show on earth —

International Women in Engineering Day — Boeing Store Runway


June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day and this year The Boeing Company produced a video and microsite that highlights the need for more women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers by reflecting on the challenges women have historically faced seeking higher education in these areas and promoting paths to success […]

via International Women in Engineering Day — Boeing Store Runway

America’s First Lady of the Air


Fly 'n Things

I was annoyed from the start by the attitude of doubt by the spectators that I would never really make the flight. This attitude made me more determined than ever to succeed.

— Harriet Quimby, just prior to her flight across the English Channel, 1912.

[Harriet Quimby, full-length portrait, standing, in aviation costume]

Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress

 Links:

Harriet Quimby

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Indian Women Pilots


Women in Aviation

March is Women in History month and also Women of Aviation month. As I started to write this article, I realized I knew so little about women pilots of India. Even less who the first woman was to have taken flight.

There is a lot of misinformation about who the first women pilot of India was. Some sites (including wikipedia and IWPA) attribute this to Sarla Thakral while others claim it is Urmila Parikh. Based on the dates and veracity of the source,  it appears Urmila Parikh was the first women pilot of India. She obtained her license in 1932 while Sarla Sharma ne` Thakral obtained it in 1936.

The first woman to obtain her commercial pilot’s license was Prem Thakur in 1948. She later started flying for Deccan Airlines. In 1956, Durba Bannerjee became the first woman inducted into the Indian Airlines and in 1990, Nivedita Bhasin became the youngest woman to command a jet at the age of 26. She was also the first woman check pilot for A300. The first Indian woman to obtain an FAA pilot’s license in 1967 was Chanda Buddhabatti, who started the Indian Women Pilots Association.

It was interesting to learn that the growth of women pilots in India is happening faster than the rest of the world. About 11.6% of the pilots in India are women. The last five years, almost 14.7% of the commercial licenses’ issued were issued to women. More than 48% of the workforce in airline industry is composed of women.

  • India currently has 586 women pilots out of a total of 5050 pilots in the country
  • Of whom 187 are commanders. Globally there are 480 women commanders.
  • Of whom 399 are co-pilots.

Unfortunately, India still has no general aviation presence.

Links:

Press Information Bureau, Government of India
Chandigarh Tribune
Wikipedia
Indian women pilots soar past global average
Indian Women Pilots Association

Welcome Home Atlantis


THE SKY CALLS TO US
— Carl Sagan

Last June, when NASA finally retired Atlantis, it found it’s home at Kennedy Space Center. There is a fun and interactive Atlantis exhibit at KSC. The exhibit is entered in layers. After watching a video on the origin and history of the Space Shuttle Program, visitors finally come face to face with Atlantis, suspended high above the ground, portrayed as if suspended in orbit with payload bay windows open as if in mid mission. Atlantis, dominates the multi-story complex providing views from different angles. The exhibit also includes a motion flight simulator experience, and many hands-on exhibits for kids.

atlantis

Related:

Atlantis: Final Flight
Space