February 8, 1973: Biologist Ellen Weaver creates a sensor package to measure ocean temperature and detect chlorophyll levels. The sensors were loaded onto communications and weather satellites in NASA’s first foray into sea productivity monitoring.
From discovering pulsars to correcting the optics of the fuzzy Hubble Space Telescope, here are 17 stories of women who made undeniably vital contributions to astronomy and physics.
When the Skylab orbital workshop was damaged on launch, it lost its sunshield and started overheating. This is a story of Alyene Baker saving the station, and a story of never underestimating the importance of being able to improvise with a sewing machine.
Before modern computers worked a foothold into science and research, number crunching was accomplished by real, human brains. These tasks were often foisted off onto women as the general opinion was that men were too easily distracted to undertake such a focused, repetitive task.
1976. The Shuttle Enterprise, about to embark on a continuing mission to test in-atmosphere flight, and never quite get into space. The shuttle's rollout ceremony with most of the main cast from Star Trek was neither the first or last collaboration between NASA and Star Trek.
For International Women's Day, flashback to the early days of NASA. Fundamental research in aerodynamics using wind tunnels and the very earliest push into supersonic flight are piling up stacks of data. All that data went through computers, the women who performed data transcription and reduction.
Once upon a time, Valentina Tereshkova was a textile factor worker who made a hobby of jumping off of stuff with parachutes. On June 16, 1963, she was the first woman to make it into space, piloting Vostok 6 through 48 orbits in 70.8 hours. Today is her birthday.
To start women's history month, learn about the ladies hired by Edward Charles Pickering to categorize stars. While their boss theorized lunar maria were insect clouds, these women developed the stellar classification system and worked out Cepheid variation.