Women in Russia are simulating a girls-only mission to the moon

Did you know that since the International Space Station launched in 1998, it has never been manned by an all-female crew? But the ladies from Russia are ready to change that. This Wednesday, a small team of female volunteers — doctors, researchers, and psychologists — began an experiment aboard a mock spaceship at Moscow’s Institute of Biomedical Problems. How might a women-only astronaut team fare on a trip to the moon? This experiment apparently seeks to provide some insight to that question.

While aboard the craft for eight days, the woman are scheduled to conduct numerous experiments with a focus on psychology and biology.

To nobody’s surprise, these awesome ladies have been fielding questions that . . . let’s just say, the male cosmonauts receive far less frequently. Phys.org reports,

“Despite the mission being presented as a giant step for gender equality, the women — who wore red jumpsuits — found themselves fielding questions at a press conference about how they would cope without men or makeup for eight days.” (emphasis added)

So how did the volunteers reply? Participant Darya Komissarova was a woman of few words, replying: “We are very beautiful without makeup.”

Our favorite reaction might be from Anna Kussmaul, who explained: “We are doing work. When you’re doing your work, you don’t think about men and women.”

Nailed it!!  We have no doubt that the ‘Luna-15’ crew will be a great contribution to science and astronomy. Their physical reactions to the conditions, in addition to their stress levels, will be tested during the mock moon mission; and with over 30 experiments to conduct over eight days, there’s no doubt these ladies will keep busy and give researchers plenty of data to analyze. 

Even though space has been a field dominated by the boys (so far) there are so many stories we love, just like this one, which are super encouraging to women and girls in the STEM fields. Like when Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space. Or when we learned about the amazing Alyssa Carson, a driven teen who could totally be the first human on Mars. Or even how kids’ clothing manufacturers are finally starting to catch onto the fact that little girls love space adventures too!

So the Russian ‘Luna-15’ crew? It’s a small step for those women, but maybe a giant leap for women everywhere. To infinity and beyond, that’s what we say!

Related reading: 

This real life ‘Star Trek’ astronaut is our she-ro of the week

Why I Still Want To Be An Astronaut When I Grow Up

[Image via Shutterstock]

Debbie Holloway
Debbie Holloway lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works closely with Narrative Muse, a fast-growing source for movies, TV, and books created by and about women and gender diverse folks. Read more