Watch how the only woman in space today celebrated International Women's Day

The only woman in space right now made a special presentation for International Women's Day this Monday (March 9).

Floating in the Kibo module of the International Space Station in a dress and stockings that she wore in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 12 (alongside her colleagues, who wore an assortment of throwback looks for the anniversary), NASA astronaut Jessica Meir spoke in a video posted to Twitter Monday about why we need diverse perspectives to accomplish big goals in space exploration.

"It takes all sorts of people from diverse backgrounds to explore the unknown and to make things that are seemingly impossible, possible," said Meir, an astronaut on the three-person Expedition 62. "When we all work together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish."

Related: Women in Space: A Universe of Firsts in Photos

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir speaks from the space station for International Women's Day.  (Image credit: Astro_Jessica/Twitter/NASA)
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Meir recently pushed spaceflight boundaries, though she didn't speak about this specific accomplishment in the video. She and a former crewmate, astronaut Christina Koch (who recently returned to Earth after a record-setting 328 days in space, the longest spaceflight ever made by a woman), performed the first three all-woman spacewalks in history, in 2019 and 2020.

While in space, Meir has also celebrated her identity and heritage as a Jewish woman, including wearing festive socks to celebrate Hanukkah and bringing an Israeli flag with her to space, according to The Times of Israel.

The video she posted Monday paid tribute to the women who came before her, while looking to the future, when the first woman walks on the moon, a milestone that NASA aims to accomplish by 2024.

"I am thankful for the amazing women who paved the way for me to do research in space," Meir said. "NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send the first woman and next man to the moon as part of the Artemis program."

As of 2019, only 64 of the 566 people to fly to space have been women. The first woman to fly to space was Valentina Tereshkova, in 1963, and the first U.S. woman in space was Sally Ride, in 1984. Women have achieved a number of other incredible orbital milestones, including commanding the space shuttle, performing spacewalks and commanding the International Space Station.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace

  • Hari
    Ever since NASA prioritised the objective of Artemis as putting the first woman on the Moon it's become obssessed with identity politics. Kinda lost all perspective and purpose :mask:
    Reply