Famous Female Astronauts People

Famous Female Astronauts

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List of famous female astronauts, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female astronauts list contains the most prominent and top females known for being astronauts. There are thousand of females working as astronauts in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic astronauts have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a astronaut then the people below should give you inspiration.

List features Catherine Coleman, Marsha Ivins and more people.

While this isn't a list of all female astronauts, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female astronauts?" and "Who are the best female astronauts?"


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  1. 1
    Sally Ride
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space. After flying twice on the space shuttle Challenger, she left ...more

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    • Age: Died at 61 (1951-2012)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronaut
  2. 2
    Ellen Ochoa
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Ellen Lauri Ochoa is a former astronaut and current Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012.more

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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut, Engineer
  3. 3
    Mae Jemison
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mae Carol Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After her medical education and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps ...more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Astronaut, Scientist, Physician
  4. 4
    Judith Resnik
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Judith Arlene Resnik was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L. Resnik was the second American female astronaut, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and had a Ph.D.more

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    • Age: Died at 37 (1949-1986)
    • Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut, Scientist, Engineer
  5. 5
    Eileen Collins
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Eileen Marie Collins is a retired NASA astronaut and a retired United States Air Force colonel. A former military instructor and test pilot, Collins was the first female pilot and first female commander of a Space Shuttle. She was awarded several medals for her work. Colonel Collins has logged 38 days 8 ...more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Elmira, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut
  6. 6
    Kalpana Chawla
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Kalpana Chawla was born in Karnal, India. She was the first Indian-American astronaut and first Indian woman in space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. In 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle ...more

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    • Age: Died at 41 (1962-2003)
    • Birthplace: Karnal, India
    • Profession: Pilot, Astronaut, Scientist, Mechanical engineer, Aerospace Engineer, + more
  7. 7
    Peggy Whitson
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Peggy Annette Whitson is an American biochemistry researcher, NASA astronaut, and former NASA Chief Astronaut. Her first space mission was in 2002, with an extended stay aboard the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 5. Her second mission launched October 10, 2007, as the first female ...more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: Mount Ayr, Iowa, United States of America
    • Profession: Biochemist, Astronaut, Biomedical sciences
  8. 8
    Roberta Bondar
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Roberta Bondar OC O.Ont FRCP FRSC is Canada's first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space. Following more than a decade as NASA's head of space medicine, Bondar became a consultant and speaker in the business, scientific, and medical communities. Bondar has received many honours including ...more

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    • Age: age 70
    • Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
    • Profession: Neurologist, Educator, Astronaut, Scientist, Author, + more
  9. 9
    Lisa Nowak
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Lisa Marie Nowak is an American former naval flight officer and NASA astronaut. Born in Washington, D.C., she was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics. Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-121 mission in July 2006, where she was responsible for ...more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
    • Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer
  10. 10
    Anousheh Ansari
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc.. The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006, a few days ...more

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    • Age: age 49
    • Birthplace: Mashhad, Iran
    • Profession: Businessperson, Astronaut, Engineer
    • Credits: Mojave Magic: A Turtle's Eye View of SpaceShipOne
  11. 11
    Sunita Williams
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sunita Lyn "Suni" Williams née Pandya is an American astronaut and United States Navy officer of Indian-Slovenian descent. She holds the records for longest single space flight by a woman, total spacewalks by a woman, and most spacewalk time for a woman. Williams was assigned to the International Space ...more

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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Euclid, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer
  12. 12
    Barbara Morgan
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Barbara Radding Morgan is an American teacher and a former NASA astronaut. She participated in the Teacher in Space program as the backup to Christa McAuliffe for the ill-fated STS-51-L mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger. She then trained as a Mission Specialist, and flew on STS-118 in August 2007.more

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    • Age: age 64
    • Birthplace: Fresno, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut, Teacher
    • Credits: When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
  13. 13
    Shannon Lucid
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid is an American biochemist and a retired NASA astronaut. At one time, she held the record for the longest duration stay in space by an American, as well as by a woman. She has flown in space five times including a prolonged mission aboard the Mir space station in 1996; she is ...more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: Shanghai, China
    • Profession: Biochemist, Astronaut
    • Credits: The Wild Blue Yonder, Mission to Mir: IMAX
  14. 14
    Valentina Tereshkova
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Tereshkova was only honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force and thus ...more

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    • Age: age 78
    • Birthplace: Bolshoye Maslennikovo, Russia
    • Profession: Pilot, Politician, Astronaut
  15. 15
    Yi So-Yeon
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    Yi So-yeon is a scientist who became the first Korean to fly in space.more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: Gwangju, South Korea
    • Profession: Researcher, Astronaut
  16. 16
    Sandra Magnus
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sandra Hall Magnus is an American engineer and a NASA astronaut. She returned to Earth with the crew of STS-119 Discovery on March 28, 2009, after having spent 134 days in orbit. She was assigned to the crew of STS-135, the final mission of the Space Shuttle. She is also a licensed amateur radio ...more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Belleville, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer
  17. 17
    Julie Payette
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Julie Payette, OC, CQ is a Canadian engineer and astronaut. Payette has completed two spaceflights, STS-96 and STS-127, logging more than 25 days in space. She served as Chief Astronaut for the CSA, and has served in other roles for both NASA and CSA, such as CAPCOM. In July 2013, Julie Payette was ...more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
    • Profession: Flight engineer, Astronaut, Engineer
  18. 18
    Tamara E. Jernigan
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Tamara Elizabeth "Tammy" Jernigan, Ph.D. is an American scientist and former NASA astronaut and a veteran of five shuttle missions.more

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    • Age: age 56
    • Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut, Scientist
  19. 19
    Catherine Coleman
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Catherine Grace "Cady" Coleman is an American chemist, a former United States Air Force officer, and a current NASA astronaut. She is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions, and departed the International Space Station on May 23, 2011, as a crew member of Expedition 27 after logging 159 days in space.more

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    • Age: age 55
    • Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America
    • Profession: Chemist, Astronaut
  20. 20
    Christa McAuliffe
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe was an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. She received her bachelor's degree in education and history from Framingham State College in 1970, and also a master's in ...more

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    • Age: Died at 38 (1948-1986)
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Astronaut, Teacher
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