06.14.131:15 PM ET

Celebrating 50 Years in Space

Valentina Tereshkova, Sally Ride part of select group.

This weekend is the 50-year anniversary of women in space. Since the Soviet Union beat the U.S. to the punch (on June 16, 1963, they sent Valentina Tereshkova into orbit), nine countries have followed, putting 57 women into space. Sally Ride was the first woman to go on a space journey for the U.S.—making an impact in a world that assumed we should only land a “man on the moon.” Some of the women we remember are the four who died in the Challenger and Columbia disasters: Christa McAulliffe, Judith Resnik, Laurel Clark, and Kalpana Chawla. With the U.S. space program suspended, no American women will be going up to space anytime soon, which is a shame considering how much these women have done over the last decades.