First Person on Mars Will ‘Likely’ Be a Woman, Says Head of NASA
The first person on Mars is likely to be a woman, the head of NASA said on a radio show.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was a guest on the radio show “Science Friday” last week. During his appearance on the show, Bridenstine said that a woman is "likely to be" the first person on Mars.
Bridenstine’s appearance on the show happened to be on International Women’s Day last week. In honor of the day, one listener wrote in and asked if NASA had any plans to send a woman to the moon — something that has never been done before. "Asolutely," Bridenstine responded, according to CNN.
The administration not only has plans to put a woman on the moon, but also mentioned other female-lead plans happening soon. “We have the first all-female spacewalk happening this month at the end of March, which is of course, National Women’s Month,” Bridenstine said on the show, according to The Huffington Post. “So NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent.”
The first all-female spacewalk is scheduled to take place on March 29. Anne McClain and Christina Koch are the duo assigned to partake on the seven-hour expedition. However, it’s important to bare in mind that the schedule and rotation could change.
NASA hired its first female astronauts in 1978. Currently, women make up 34 percent of NASA’s active astronaut force, according to CNN. But that number could change. Last year, NASA reported for the first time that half of its current astronaut candidate class is made up of women.
Bridenstine did not go further to give any detail about the future female landing on Mars.