We know, we know – we talk a lot about how much we love all things interstellar here at the Moonrise. Can you blame us? We are the BEST space-themed boutique hotel in the galaxy after all! We’re not the only ones who get fired up over space, though. Last year, LEGO launched the “Women of NASA” LEGO set after science writer Maia Weinstock presented the idea to LEGO and it gained a ton of support. The set was so popular, it rocketed to Amazon’s number one best-selling toy within just 24 hours after its launch!
After one of our recent stellar guests generously donated a signed poster of Dr. Mae Jemison to the hotel, we were inspired to think about the fantastic female astronauts and members of NASA that we admire. The four women featured in LEGO’s “Women of NASA set” just so happen to be four of our all-time favorites, so we thought we’d share some cool facts about these sensational space women!
Dr. Mae Jemison, First African American Female In Space
Dr. Jemison was the first African American female astronaut to travel to the stars. On top of that, she graduated high school at age 16, is a NASA engineer, a physician, a professor and she speaks fluent Russian, Japanese, Swahili and English. Impressed yet? She was also the first actual astronaut to appear on Star Trek! Jemison not only overcame the added adversity that comes with being female and a minority in a STEM field, she accomplished more in just a couple decades than most people do in an entire lifetime. We are so proud to display a poster signed by the amazing Dr. Jemison in the Moonrise!
Nancy Grace Roman, “Mother of Hubble”
Nancy Roman is an American astronomer and one of the first female executives at NASA. Her nickname originates from the fact that she was was a key figure in the creation of the Hubble Space Telescope. Throughout her career, Nancy Roman has also been an active public speaker and educator and an advocate for women in the sciences. She has received countless awards throughout her life, and even has had an asteroid named after her!
Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space
Sally Ride was the first American woman to travel to space in 1983. To this day, Ride remains the youngest American to travel to space at the age of 32. She flew twice in the famous orbiter, the Challenger. President Bill Clinton even asked Sally twice to serve as NASA’s Head Administrator, but she turned the position down both times. She left NASA in 1987 and later investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters. Sadly, Sally passed away in 2012 from pancreatic cancer, but her legacy lives on forever.
Peggy Whitson, First Female Commander of the ISS
Peggy Whitson has always been determined to go above and beyond her peers. Her first mission was in 2002 to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition Five. Her next mission was Expedition 16, as the first female commander of the International Space Station, followed by Expedition 51, where she also served as commander. Not only was she an inspiring leader, she was the first female to command the ISS and broke the American record for the longest single space flight, which had been held by Samantha Cristoforetti at 199 days, 16 hours. Whitson spent 289 days in orbit. On top of that record, she was also the oldest woman in space (at age 57, and had the most space walks (10) of any female astronaut.
These amazing women really took the phrase “reach for the stars” to heart! We’re so inspired by their accomplishments and their dedication to expanding our reach into the cosmos. Although sadly we aren’t able to follow them into space just yet, we can make-believe that we are while we sit beneath our giant man-made moon and enjoy the best rooftop dining St. Louis has to offer. If you’ve got space-fever but lack your own personal rocket ship, just book a room at the Moonrise to get your fix!