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 women astronauts, including Jessica Mier and Christina Koch, who conducted the first all-female spacewalk outside of the International Space Station in 2019.
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?"
Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and physicist. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. Ride worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear ...more on Wikipedia
Age: Dec. at 61 (1951-2012)
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Ellen O. Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an American engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon the retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Jemison joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1987 and was selected to serve for the STS-47 mission, during which she orbited the Earth for nearly eight days on September 12–20, 1992. Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Jemison graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering as well as African and African-American studies. She then earned her medical degree from Cornell University. Jemison was a doctor for the Peace Corps in Liberia and ...more on Wikipedia
Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama, United States of America
Judith Arlene Resnik (; April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L. Resnik was the second American woman in space and the fourth woman in space worldwide, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was also the first Jewish American in space and the first Jewish woman of any nationality in space. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor. Initially planning to be a concert pianist, Resnik turned down a place at the Juilliard School of Music, choosing instead to study at Carnegie Mellon ...more on Wikipedia
Age: Dec. at 37 (1949-1986)
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio