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Leading Women

1963: Space's First Lady

Soviet Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. In Vostok 6, she completes 48 orbits in 71 hours.

1969: Man on the moon

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make history by becoming the first humans to walk on the moon.

1971: First space station

USSR launches the world's first space station, Salyut.

1975: Europe in space

The European Space Agency is established in Paris as a collaboration between 20 European nations.

1983: First American woman in space

Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space.

1984: First woman walks in space

Svetlana Savitskaya becomes first woman to walk in space.

1984: First U.S. woman walks in space

Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes first American woman to walk in space.

1986: Mir Station goes up

Russia launches the Mir modular space station into orbit. Upon completion it served as a space laboratory for more than 14 years.

1991: First Briton in space

Dr Helen Sharman becomes first British citizen to travel into space in response to a radio ad seeking astronauts.

1992: First black woman in space

Mae Jemison becomes first black woman in space.

1993: First Hispanic woman in space

Ellen Ochoa becomes first Hispanic woman in space.

1994: Japan big in space

Chiaki Mukai becomes first Japanese woman in space.

1995: Woman in command

Eileen Collins becomes first female shuttle pilot. Four years later she would break another first becoming the first female commander of a space shuttle.

1998: ISS launches

The first piece of the International Space Station is launched and becomes fully operational in May 2009.

2006: Longest stay

Anousheh Ansari becomes the first Iranian in space and the first female space tourist.

2006: Longest stay in space

After 195 days, Sunita Williams achieves the longest ever female stint in space.

2007: Woman in control

Peggy Whitson becomes first female commander of the International Space Station.

2008: South Korea in orbit

Scientist Yi So-Yeon becomes first South Korean in space.

2012: China in space

In charge of medical experiments during her mission, Liu Yang becomes first Chinese woman in space.

2013: Humans to Mars?

Dutch company Mars 1 starts accepting applications to go on a one-way trip to Mars with takeoff scheduled for 2022.

50 years of women in space

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