Welcome to gURLs in space, presented by Astrobiology Magazine (www.astrobio.net)!
We started this blog as a way to highlight the important work of women in fields related to the space sciences. Women are still dramatically underrepresented in many scientific fields relevant to the exploration of space, and we’re hoping to help change that.
There are a lot of inspiring women out there doing incredible research – and we want to help bridge the gap between their work and the next generation of women space scientists.
In the coming years we will be featuring a wide range of material – from stories and videos we find on the web to original content developed alongside the Astrobiology Magazine. We want this to be as interactive as possible – so please send us your comments and suggestions!
*In addition to original content, gURLs in space also runs content from non-NASA sources in order to provide broad coverage of issues that women face in science, both nationally and internationally. Publication of press-releases or other out-sourced content does not signify endorsement or affiliation of any kind.
An unofficial sustained American aviation altitude record for women was set July 1, 1979, by astronaut candidate Kathryn D. Sullivan in a NASA WB-57F reconnaissance aircraft.
The record altitude of 63,300 feet was reached during a four-hour flight. Sullivan, in a high altitude pressure suit, operated color infrared cameras and multispectral scanning equipment as the WB-57F spent one and one-half hours of the Big Bend area of West Texas.
Piloting the aircraft was Jim Korkowski, one of the NASA Airborne Instrumentation Research Program Pilots. The flight was out of Ellington AFB near Houston.
Sullivan, who has a doctorate in geology, was selected in 1978 as one of 35 astronaut candidates training for the Shuttle program. She trained to be a mission specialist and flights in the WB-57F were training in preparation for her assignments on the Shuttle. Sullivan later served as a mission specialist on STS-41G, STS-31, and STS-45.
We featured Kathy Sullivan at #2 on our ‘gURLs who spacewalk list.’ Sullivan, the first American woman to perform and extravehicular activity, also set the sustained aviation altitude record for an American women. Basically, she’s just awesome.
NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 23 flight engineer, works with experiment hardware in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) located in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
Astrobiology Magazine recently featured the work of Katarina Miljković, a specialist in impact cratering based at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. She was the lead author on a study published in Science that featured data from NASA’s GRAIL mission at the Moon. GRAIL is helping scientists understand how the face of the Moon, and it’s distribution of impact basins, was shaped over time.
Being space geeks, we’re also obviously huge Star Trek fans. There’s been a very sweet, inspiring video of Whoopi Goldberg (who played one of the all time greatest characters from Star Trek The Next Generation) making its way around social media lately. Recently, we were just surfing around looking at more videos from the amazing actor who brought Guinan to lfe… and we came across this old info-ad from NASA Spinoff. Had to share.
"We really have the most beautiful planet in our solar system. None other can sustain life like we know it. None other has blue water and white clouds covering colorful landmasses filled with thriving, beautiful, living things like human beings. We are lucky, and to quote a great movie, we are a privileged planet. I do hope there are other wonderful planets living and thriving out there, but ours is special because it is ours and ours to take care of. We really can’t take that too lightly."
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, attired in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit, is pictured in the Quest airlock of the International Space Station prior to a session of extravehicular activity (EVA). Credit: NASA
SETI recently held a Hangout with Kepler mission scientist Natalie Batalha to discuss results of the Second Kepler Science Conference at NASA Ames. The video is now online, and it contains some pretty interesting discussions about the potential for planets in our galaxy.
Dr. Batalha is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at San Jose State University. She studies extrasolar planets and stellar astrophysics, and has been at NASA Ames since 2000.