NASA engineers invented space makeup kits, and the internet has feelings

During Chanel’s Fall 2017 show, models wore space-themed makeup, hair, and clothing. (Photo: Getty Images)
During Chanel’s Fall 2017 show, models wore space-themed makeup, hair, and clothing. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just because you are up above the clouds discovering the unknown doesn’t mean you might not want a quick makeup touch-up, right? Well, believe it or not, history shows that engineers in the ’70s thought so too, and that’s why they assumed that providing female astronauts with glam kits while they explored space would be a great idea.

The NASA History Office recently shared a photo on Twitter of cosmetics placed in a yellow makeup case. The kit included compartments for mascara, lipstick, and blush. Accompanying the photo was the caption “Sally Ride: ‘The engineers at NASA, in their infinite wisdom, decided that women astronauts would want makeup — so they designed a makeup kit… You can just imagine the discussions amongst the predominantly male engineers about what should go in a makeup kit.’” Since the post went up, conversation surrounding the topic has reignited, and the post has been retweeted more than 900 times.


Reacting to Ride’s thoughts on space makeup, many chimed in with their thoughts. One person pointed out, “It cost how much per ounce to send something up in the shuttle and they prioritized makeup?” Another joked, “unthinkable to orbit the earth without lipstick.”







Ride, who became the first American woman in space in 1983, was interviewed by journalist and feminist Gloria Steinem and discussed how the media would often ask her sexist questions such as the types of makeup products she brought into space. “They didn’t care about how well prepared I was to operate the [Space Shuttle] arm or deploy communication satellites.” She also recalled how engineers focused on how many tampons she would need for a week. “Is 100 the right number?” they asked. She replied, “No. That would not be the right number.”

A post shared by Mackenzie Finocchiaro‍ (@astro.kenzie) on May 26, 2017 at 4:00am PDT

While makeup wasn’t a primary concern for Ride, other female astronauts, such as Margaret Rhea Seddon, felt differently. In a blog post, Seddon discusses different issues that came up when women were first accepted in NASA’s Astronaut Corps, elaborating on the design of adult diapers, underwear, and makeup. She wrote, “Some of the women Astronauts never wore makeup anyway, so they said adamantly ‘NO!’ Some of us did. Was this to be a majority rule decision?”

Seddon continued, “I spoke up for the minority. If there would be pictures taken of me from space, I didn’t want to fade into the background so I requested some basic items.”


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