This year’s theme of “World Space Week”, which is celebrated every year on October 4-10, with the decision of the United Nations (UN) to commemorate the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite into space on October 4, 1957, was determined as “Women in Space”.
Thus, the international community aims to draw attention to the contribution of women to space science and to increase the number of women active in this field.
According to the data of the United Nations (UN) Office of Space Affairs, 11 percent of astronauts and about 20 percent of the space workforce are women worldwide.
About 30 percent of researchers working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are women.
According to the data of the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), only 65 of the 566 people who went into space as of March 2020 are women.
Çukurova University Space Sciences and Solar Energy Center (UZAYMER) Director Prof. Dr. Aysun Akyüz and Erciyes University Satellite and Space Sciences Department Head Dr. Faculty Member İnci Akkaya Oralhan evaluated the importance of space studies, the space race that has gained momentum among international actors in recent years, space tourism and the place of women in this field to AA correspondent.
“It is possible for women to take part in space exploration from a non-discriminatory perspective”
Akyüz stated that the USA’s ban on cooperation with China in space exploration and not including this country in the International Space Station (ISS) accelerated China’s work in this area.
Drawing attention to the difficulty of going to space despite these developments, Akyüz said, “This will always be expensive for ordinary citizens of countries that do not have a say in the space race.” said.
Akyüz said, “I think that it will be possible for an increasing number of women in developing and changing societies to take part in space exploration as well as in every field, only with a planned, comprehensive education and a perspective that is far from all kinds of discrimination.” he said.
Saying that few and “very wealthy” people are currently able to carry out touristic expeditions to space, Akyüz pointed out that serious budgets are allocated for space tourism and that this area will develop rapidly until 2050.
“The number of female scientists directing studies is increasing”
Emphasizing the need to understand why these studies are carried out in order to understand the importance of space studies, Oralhan stated that most technologies that make daily life easier were developed in the light of information obtained from space.
Oralhan stated that space exploration serves to prevent the dangers that the planet may face, to use communication tools more quickly and effectively, and to ensure technological progress.
Explaining that women have taken their place in the sector with their contribution to the development of astronomical satellites and the advancement of space science, although many of them do not physically travel to space, Oralhan said, “Even though we have not reached a sufficient percentage yet, the number of female scientists who direct such studies is increasing day by day. As in the field, women have taken their place and will continue to do so wherever there are human beings and in space travels. used his statements.
Emphasizing that the need for new energy sources will increase in the future, Oralhan pointed out that this situation led to the conduct of new research under the name of “space mining”.
Pointing out that all these efforts will bring together a peaceful international cooperation in space, Oralhan stated that the principles that will make the existing space order sustainable are determined by the “Space Law” based on UN agreements.
Oralhan said that considering the cost of such studies, it is expected that economically strong countries such as China will take pioneering steps in this area.
Oralhan said that the cost of space travel will decrease in parallel with technological developments.
“Also, certain physical tests and pre-flight training are required for space flights in the current situation. However, in the future, without the need for these physical tests and qualifications, spacecrafts that are more compatible with manned journeys and that can make the non-gravity environment more usable can be developed. There may be a future where everyone can go to space, but answering the question of how close is even more difficult than going to space.”
“Women in Space”
Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova started the women’s space adventure with her flight with “Vostok 6” on June 16, 1963. Tereshkova made 48 trips around the world on her nearly 70-hour journey.
Sally Ride also became the first American woman in space in June 1983 with the shuttle “STS-7”.
. (HAS) is published on the Anadolu Agency website, in summary. ..