In Russia, only one woman astronaut. Is it waiting for space?
The first woman in space was from Russia, the Soviet Union. Moreover, the first two women astronauts were there: Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. NASA live to see the space shuttle era, before sending women into space, and Sally Ride became the first American in space only in 1983.
But since this American Ride broke the gender barrier 35 years ago, 50 other Americans were in space. And only two women from Russia - Elena Kondakova (1994 and 1997) and Elena Serov (2014). Also, two women flew from China, Japan and Canada, and one - from France, India, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
How many women in space?
In the future, this inequality is likely, it will only increase. In the last two classes of NASA astronauts, in 2013 and 2017, nine of the twenty selected candidates were women. In Russia in the last two classes in 2012 and 2018 there was only one woman, Anna Kikin. Later, she was expelled from the body of astronauts in 2014 for unknown reasons. After a public protest it was restored, but it is unknown whether it will ever fly. And it's not that she is a woman, and that at the Russian Space Agency has a list of astronauts, awaiting the first flight. None of the class Kikina 2012 did not fly as experienced astronauts are still waiting for re-flight. Manned "Soyuz" runs four times a year and usually takes one astronaut. In the active case 29 Russian cosmonauts and Kikin - the only woman remaining after the departure of Serov.
Last week, Russia announced a new set of trainee astronauts, eight people chosen from a pool of 420 applicants. (By gender separation was not). The contest was open to all Russian citizens aged 35 years or younger with a degree in engineering, science or flight disciplines.
Why are there no women? Former cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, now executive director of space programs Roscosmos, said that Russian women do not particularly want to become astronauts, unlike men. "One of the main requirements for those wishing to join the team is a commitment, a desire to become an astronaut," said Krikalev. "Apparently, the percentage of women who want to become astronauts, a little lower."