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Monday December 2nd, 2013

Launch Pad Lecture: 50 Years of Women in Space

Celebrating Gold: 50 Years of Women in Space

Free Launch Pad Lecture Friday December 6

(Alamogordo, New Mexico) - Most people know that over the past few years, the world has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin), the first American man in space (Alan Shepard), and the first American man to orbit the earth (John Glenn), but many people don’t know that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the first woman in space – Valentina Tereshkova. On June 16, 1963, the Soviet Union launched Vostok 6, with Tereshkova aboard, into space. This first female space explorer circled the Earth 48 times and came home a hero.

Tereshkova, and the women who followed her, are the topic of this month’s Launch Pad Lecture at the New Mexico Museum of Space History. The lecture, which is free to the public, will be held on Friday, December 6, at 9:00 am on the museum’s first floor. It will feature Museum Education Specialist Michael Shinabery whose topic will be “Celebrating Gold: 50 Years of Women in Space”. Did you know that Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova went to the hairdresser just days before her historic flight? And just who were the Mercury 13? Learn all the mysteries of these “first ladies of space” this Friday. Complimentary coffee and donuts will be served.

The Launch Pad Lecture Series is held on the first Friday of each month on the first floor of the Museum and is free to attend. The next lecture will be on Friday, January 3, and the topic will be Will Work for Rocket Fuel, an overview of Dr. Robert Goddard’s work before he came to New Mexico. Discover what drove Goddard to become the Father of Modern Rocketry and just how he managed to wind up on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico.

For current information, please call the number below or visit the museum website.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at