- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Women astronauts poised to break record
Question of the Day
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. | Space is about to have a female population explosion.
One woman already is circling Earth in a Russian capsule, bound for the International Space Station. Early Monday morning, NASA will attempt to launch three more women to the orbiting outpost — along with four men — aboard shuttle Discovery.
It will be the most women in space at the same time.
Men still will outnumber the women by more than 2-to-1 aboard the shuttle and station, but that won’t take away from the remarkable achievement, coming 27 years after America’s first female astronaut, Sally Ride, rocketed into space.
A former schoolteacher is among the four female astronauts about to make history, as well as a chemist who once worked as an electrician, and two aerospace engineers. Three are American; one is Japanese.
But it makes no difference to educator-astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger’s 3-year-old daughter, Cambria.
“To her, flying is cool. … There aren’t a lot of distinctions, and that’s how I want it to be,” said Mrs. Metcalf-Lindenburger, 34, who used to teach high school science in Vancouver, Wash.
Indeed, the head of NASA’s space operations was unaware of the imminent women-in-space record until a reporter brought it up last week. Three women have flown together in space before, but only a few times.
“Maybe that’s a credit to the system, right? That I don’t think of it as male or female,” said space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier. “I just think of it as a talented group of people.”
Discovery’s crew of seven will spend 13 days in space, hauling up big spare parts, experiments and other supplies to the nearly completed space station. It’s one of four shuttle flights remaining. Monday’s liftoff time is 6:21 a.m.
Mrs. Metcalf-Lindenburger and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, both rookies, will become the 53rd and 54th women to fly in space — and the 516th and 517th space farers, overall. The Soviet Union had the world’s first spacewoman in 1963: Valentina Tereshkova.
“I’d love to have those numbers be higher,” said astronaut Stephanie Wilson, 43, who will be making her third shuttle flight. “But I think that we have made a great start and have paved the way with women now being able to perform the same duties as men in spaceflight.”
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Inside China: Massive flight woes and a missile test
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq