first female astronaut

The time between the first male and first female astronauts varied widely by country. The first astronauts originally from Britain, South Korea, and Iran were women, while there was a two-year gap in Russia from the first man in space on Vostok 1 to the first woman in space on Vostok 6. From left to right are Shannon W. Lucid, Margaret Rhea Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnik, Anna L. Fisher, and Sally K. Ride. While Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, she is also known as the 'first female astronaut in space'. NASA selected all six women as their first female astronaut candidates in January 1978, allowing them to enroll in a training program that they completed in August 1979.

The astronaut class of 1978 (NASA's Astronaut Group 8) was the first new group of astronauts selected since 1969. This is because of the distinction between the different nations' definition of a space traveller: Cosmonaut (Soviet/Russian) and Astronaut (American).

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