Even though women have been able to fly since 1908, they were almost exclusively limited to general aviation, or private planes, or support positions (until the 1970s), and our exhibitions reflect these historical responsibilities. Although women now have full access to military and commercial cockpits, the Space Shuttle, and aerospace technologies, we will examine and add the rising contributions of women throughout the article as we update and build new displays.
Globally, women have made significant contributions to the aerospace sector, from ground-breaking research to risky missions. Just a few of these powerful ladies are included below.
Jean Batten | New Zealand
When Jean Batten became the first woman to do a roundtrip flight from England to Australia in 1934/35, she instantly became famous in her native New Zealand as well as in Australia and England. Following this accomplishment, Batten achieved other world records, including the first solo female crossing of the South Atlantic.
Raymonde de Laroche | France
On March 8, 1910, Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to receive a pilot’s licence. At the 1910 Reims Air Meet, she was the sole female participant. De Laroche, a gifted engineer as well, arrived to the Le Crotoy airport in the summer of 1919 to copilot a brand-new aircraft in an effort to become the first female test pilot. De Laroche and the pilot were tragically murdered as the aircraft dived during the landing approach.
Patricia Cowings | America
Patricia Cowings, a research psychologist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, looked into the psycho-physiological and biological issues that astronauts in space, more often known as space sickness, encounter. Cowings created a 12-session programme in the early 1980s to educate participants how to control several autonomic processes, such as heart rate, using biofeedback.
Helene Dutrieu | Belgium
Because she was the most daring and skilled female pilot of her day, Helene Dutrieu earned the nickname “girl hawk” in the world of aviation. On November 25, 1910, she became the first woman to be granted a pilot’s licence in Belgium. In 1911, Dutrieu won the King’s Cup in Florence, Italy, after defeating 14 other male contestants.
Valentina Tereshkova | Russia
In June 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first female space traveller. After joining a club for parachutists, Tereshkova began to pursue a career in aerospace. In September 1961, she sent a letter to the Soviet Space Center offering her services as a volunteer for the cosmonaut team. Unbeknownst to her, female parachutists were being considered for the programme by Soviet space officials.
The situation has improved, nevertheless, as a consequence of increased public awareness, more use of diversity’s advantages, and a number of subsequent initiatives to make it easier for people of all genders to integrate their professional and personal lives. In non-academic research organizations, the proportion of women in executive positions increased significantly, for example, at the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, which also includes DLR, from 0.8% in 1995 to 21.1% in 2020. For bigger industrial organisations whose flexible working hour models have been in place for a while, the situation is quite similar.
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