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German space initiative “Die Astronautin” takes off – getting Women into Space

Group picture in front of Brandenbuerg Gate, Berlin. Copyright: Juliana Socher
Group picture in front of Brandenbuerg Gate, Berlin. Copyright: Juliana Socher

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was seized upon by over  400 women when they were given the chance to become the first German female astronaut. On 14 September 2016, more then 70 of these were selected for the next stage of evaluation.

Our colleagues at Sputnik news wrote about the inspiring event:

The view of Earth from the depths of outer space has predominantly been seen through the eyes of male astronauts. Not surprising, when looking at reasons why not enough girls are choosing career paths that “boldly take them where not enough women have gone before,” but a recruitment campaign in Germany is looking to change this.

HE Space is an aerospace recruiting company with offices in the Netherlands, Germany and the US and ironically, the name of which could do with the addition of an ‘S’ turning it to “(S)HE Space.” Gender equality is certainly something CEO of HE Space, Claudia Kessler is pushing with the current “Die Astronautin” recruitment campaign (which translates as “The Astronaut” in English). It is a focused strategy launched by Kessler to try and attract the next wave of female astronauts in Germany.

Claudia Kessler - initiator of the campaign "Die Astronautin". Copyright: Juliana Socher
Claudia Kessler – initiator of the campaign “Die Astronautin”. Copyright: Juliana Socher

The part-sponsored, part-crowdfunded project, that has already received a large number of applications, aims for the year 2020 to be the timeframe when all is ready for the mission to take place. If successful in its recruitment aims, Kessler could well shift the overall gender imbalances that exist in wider space exploration. Out of a total of nearly 540 space travelers, who have gone beyond Earth’s atmosphere, only 60 were women.

According to data figures, a woman each has traveled from France, India, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom; two from Canada, China, and Japan; four from the Soviet Union/Russia; and a total of 45 female astronauts from the United States, who are leading the way in terms of space girl power. Many young girls both pre-school and during education stages are not being encouraged enough to pursue career paths in aerospace, although science-based subjects, as well as engineering, are certainly said to be rising in popularity amongst girls, according to data compiled by the Cambridge Occupational Analysts (COA) after surveying over 20,000 high school students.

Read more:

SpaceWatch Middle East will follow this campaign closely and report on it as it unfolds.

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