Women in Space

Since the first flight to space in 1961, and the first man on the moon in 1969 when Neil Armstrong took his first steps, 556 people have been sent to space. Yet, just 65 of those people have been women.

The space race continued, with the first woman in space being Russian cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova who flew to space in June 1963, the most recent woman in space being Jessica Meir who completed the first all-female spacewalk with a fellow NASA astronaut called Christina Koch. During her time in space, Koch set the record for the longest duration a female has spent in space at 328 days during a single mission. However, it is Peggy Whitson who has the record for cumulative time spent in space at 665 days. 

With women holding a number of space records and greatly contributing to our understanding and knowledge of space, it is perhaps surprising that so few women have traveled beyond planet earth. 

To see which countries are leading the way for women in space, we’ve looked at the percentage of women in space for each country that has sent more than one person to space. 

A static graphic that compares how many female astronauts there are compared to men by country.

The US leads the way when it comes to the number of women sent to space, with 51 US citizens sent to space being female, whilst the UK has sent just one woman and one man to space. So, who will be the next country to send a female to space?

You can view the data set in full here.