Press Release

Space Generation Foundation Celebrates Two Historic Spaceflight Milestones with Women in Space Week

By SpaceRef Editor
June 16, 2003
Filed under , ,

Week Marks the 40th Anniversary of the First Woman in Space, the 20th
of America’s First Woman Astronaut; and Celebrates the Future of Space
Travel for All People

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 16, 2003 – Forty years ago today, at the height of
the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, cosmonaut
Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space with her three-day
orbital flight aboard the Vostok-6 spacecraft. Twenty years and two days
later, physicist Sally Ride took her place in history as America’s first
woman astronaut. All this week, individuals from across the Bay Area will
come together to celebrate these historic flights and look to the future of
space travel and exploration for all people.

Organized by the Space Generation Foundation (SGF), Women in Space Week is
driven by three goals:

  • educate the public about the far-reaching impacts of these historic
  • firsts;
  • inspire women and girls to pursue careers in science, engineering or
  • space exploration; and
  • unite individuals who share a passion for space exploration,
  • equality, and a bold, exciting future.

For the 40th anniversary of Tereshkova’s Flight, we joined the Days of
Russia Festival in San Francisco to talk to event goers about another great
Russian achievement! People enjoyed reminiscing about their memories of the
time and seeing footage of the Russian Space Program now.

For the 20th anniversary of Sally Ride’s flight, women are getting together
locally at Menlo School to plan for the inaugural Sally Ride Science Camp at
Stanford University, which begins next week. These women are committed to
creating a generation of girls who know no boundaries; girls who have the
scientific and technical skills, confidence, and team skills necessary to
make a difference in the world.

“Our goal is to ensure that more and more girls will grow up today knowing
that not even the sky is the limit,” said Loretta Hidalgo, Stanford Alumna,
astrobiologist, and head camp counselor. “When I attended my first
all-girls camp, I learned what it really means to be a team, from some of
the best mentors I’ve ever known, and that has made all the difference in my

Looking back on 40 years of women flying in space is also a great
opportunity to ponder what the future holds for young girls. Hidalgo, who
plans to travel into space herself someday, sees Tereshkova and Ride as
inspirational heroes, who even today are still working to further science,
technology, culture and equality for future generations.

“At one of our events last year, Moby (the musician) said what is really
missing from the space program today is heroes,” said Hidalgo. “I hope that
by commemorating Tereshkova and Ride this week, we can inspire more people
to step out and become the future heroes of our space program.”

Serving as a model program for inspiring youth to pursue careers in science
and engineering, the Sally Ride Science Camp for Girls is a collaboration
between Astronaut Sally Ride and Galileo Educational Services. Consisting
of three 1-week sessions this summer at Stanford University, the overnight
camp is designed for girls entering 6th – 9th grades. For more information
on the camp, visit the link below.

Members of SGF, other space advocacy organizations, and space enthusiasts
from around the Bay area will be meeting this week to celebrate the historic
milestones as well as take the first steps necessary to build a more united
and powerful space advocacy coalition here in the Bay area as part of a
larger Space Gen effort to build local space activism communities around the

# # #

About the Space Generation Foundation

The Space Generation Foundation was founded in 1985 and one of its earliest
projects was the creation of the International Space University, now with a
permanent campus in France. Established and run by students and young
professionals, the Foundation works to ignite passion and excitement for
space exploration in young people, thus creating the next generation of
space leaders and pioneers. The SGF vision is to find individuals who are
committed to creating access to space for all people and build a team to
provide the support, encouragement, motivation, and connection necessary to
turn their dreams into reality. The SGF plan is to map out incremental
steps that allow these leaders and the general public to directly
participate in and support the opening of space.

Sally Ride Science Camp for Girls:

Editorial Contacts:

Loretta Hidalgo; (626) 429-6603;

Jeremy Pyle; (415) 713-6272;

SpaceRef staff editor.