When it comes to writing about female astronauts, our coverage here at The Mary Sue tends to be somewhat Sunita Williams-centric. (She's awesome, OK?) But here's another lady astronaut you should know: Dr. Ellen Ochoa, who this month becomes the second female and first Hispanic director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. She was also the first Latina in space, if you need more impressing. Oh, and she's also a classical flutist. That instrument was the bane of my existence in the fourth grade, so anyone who can play it without passing out gets my respect, even without also being an awesome astronaut.
Mae Jemison’s “Audacious Journey” Will Provide an Outline for the Next 100 Years of Space Exploration
she blinded me with scienceLast February, NASA and DARPA announced a joint-venture soliciting ideas for the next step in human space exploration. The 100-Year Starship study collected entries until July from various experts in the field, resulting in a ton of ideas for a one-way manned mission into space. And now, the best idea has been chosen, and it was written by a true pioneer in space travel: Mae Jemison, former astronaut and the first black woman in space, submitted the winning proposal, entitled “An Inclusive Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth & Beyond."
EssayI have recently discovered Star Talk Radio, a podcast by delightful astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. I've been working my way through the archives, finding the show to be good company while I cook dinner. The other day, I listened to “A Conversation with Nichelle Nichols” (aka Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek). I knew from the title that I was going to dig it. What I did not expect was to find myself standing there, my halfway-constructed lasagna lying neglected before me, as the lovely Ms. Nichols brought me to tears. I was familiar with part of the story she was telling, but...well, allow me to share.