Happy last day of August! With all the happenings over the last few months, most of them traumatizing, I'm unsure whether to think "August, so soon?" or "August! At last!" Let's hope the last five months of 2020 turn out to be a little more user friendly, deal? :)
On to my blog topic.
As science fiction romance authors creating fictional universes, women in space is hardly a new concept. It's pretty much business as usual for those of us who travel the stars in our imaginations.
But that hasn't been the case in the real world.
But this is the 2020s and times and attitudes have changed drastically since those early days in another era. Now women are regularly included on space mission crews. (In fact, the accepted language is now "crewed missions" rather than "manned mission," something I strive to include in my SFRs.)
Still, as of a source article dated August of 2019, only 64 of the 566 people who have flown in space have been women. Clearly, there's still some serious ground to be made up, and NASA's Artemis Program is planning to do just that.
As we re-set our sites on the Moon decades later, it's clear that the first Moon landing in over 40 years is going to include at least one woman.
What do we know about the selection process?
Of the 12 women serving as of 2019, not all had flown into space yet, but the good news is there are more women in the astronaut training pipeline. In fact, the latest graduating class has a 45/55 percent ratio (5 women, 7 men).
Thanks to President Trump's Space Policy Directive 1 signed in 2017, there's a renewed interest in returning to the Moon and to space exploration, and with it, a larger role for women in space.
By 2024--less than 3-1/2 years from now!--when Artemis is planning to conduct it's first Moon landing, there could be many more females in the astronaut program training for future missions on the Moon, Mars and far, far beyond.
Maybe our science fiction romances aren't so far-fetched after all.
Have a great week!
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