Do you have dreams of traveling to space? Becoming an astronaut is an incredible experience but no easy task. In fact, less than 600 people have gotten the opportunity! There are many different paths you could take to become qualified to join a mission. Let's take a look at 5 hard-working people that got to see our planet from a distance.
Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. After joining the Peace Corps as a doctor, she decided to go become an astronaut and work at NASA. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour!
Sally Kristen Ride was an American astronaut and physicist who was born in Los Angeles in 1951. She joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman in space and the third ever woman in space. Traveling to space at the age of 32, Ride was and continues to be the youngest American astronaut!
Neil Alden Armstrong was born in 1930 and was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Armstrong was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. In 1960, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in the second group, which was selected in 1962. He made his first spaceflight as command pilot of Gemini 8 in March 1966, becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space and the first man to walk on the moon!
Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. was born in 1942 and is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut. He was the first African American and the second person of African descent to go to space. He was in the US Air Force while assigned to NASA, rising to the rank of colonel. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992.
Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was an American astronaut born in 1923. In 1961, he became the second man and the first American to travel into space, and in 1971, he walked on the Moon. Shepard was Chief of the Astronaut Office from November 1963 to July 1969, and from June 1971 until his retirement from the United States Navy and NASA on August 1, 1974.
Which astronaut do you draw the most inspiration from?
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