Peggy Whitson, First Female Commander of the International Space Station
They should be household names, but instead they’re hidden figures. Not anymore. In our new MAKERS series, we highlight the activists, advocates, and all-around awesome women who have been ripped out of modern history books. These are fearless feminists who put man on the moon and girls on the pitcher’s mound; transformed male-dominated industries like finance and construction; and paved the way for others succeed.
PEGGY WHITSON: It wasn't until I graduated high school when they selected the first female astronauts that I think becoming an astronaut really became a goal of mine.
As a woman, doing spacewalks is more challenging, mostly because the suits are sized bigger than the average female. So it requires a lot of determination as well as physical and mental stamina.
We don't have enough applicants in the female categories. That's why one of the big pushes for NASA is this STEM education primarily focused on young girls.
Every day, every task, I felt like I was contributing to space exploration very directly, and it's one of the great wonders.