Expert opinions, TECHNOLOGY

Anna Lee Fisher: More women to be involved in space programs

Dr Anna Lee Fisher, NASA astronaut and the first mother in space, made a presentation at the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow, covering her experiences during participation in the NASA program. Her visit to Russia received support from NASA and the US Embassy. A special guest of the meeting Dr Fisher had with Moscow public was Anna Kikina, at the moment, the only female astronaut in the Russian space program.

An essential focus of a number of questions from the audience was the participation of women in space exploration. “I am proud of how NASA accepted and embraced women in its program. The change will also come to other countries and to the Russian program as well, and pretty soon there will be more women involved. It just takes time for culture and societal norms to change,” Dr Fisher said.

When asked how one can make it into space, she mentioned there are three options: to achieve extraordinary results in studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), to joint military as a pilot, or to become a space tourist after launching a successful business and making 20 to 30 million dollars to book a flight at Soyuz spacecraft. Yet the most important of all, she stressed referring to her personal ‘check list for life’ of about a dozen items, is “if you have a dream, do not give up and be persistent.”

“Every astronaut would tell pretty much the same thing, once you go into space and see this beautiful planet, you do not see any borders, and you start to feel more like you are from planet Earth as opposed to whichever country you originally came from. Space program brings people together. The US and USSR launched it when they were in Cold War, and then we became partners and now we are all working together,” Anna Lee Fisher noted. “Those who love space are united in their vision of the future and – no matter what the political differences are between countries – are united in our love of space and protecting our planet.”

Dr Fisher welcomed development of space tourism as “more people will get to see the planet from space and they will come to realize how beautiful it is – and we will all learn to get along better and take care of our planet and take care of each other.”

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