I was a science fiction reading young teenager in a small northern British town when the first Space programmes were launched. I remember pictures of a debonair Yuri Gagarin and a serious Valentina Tereshkova looking like innocent twins in their cosmonaut space helmets.
Then, on Saturday, with as much publicity as it could muster China sent Lui Yang on a space mission. She is the first Chinese female astronaut, and she sets off to do something still quite remarkable – but some how also mundane – nearly 50 years later than Tereshkova’s first trip. The Guardian quotes the Chinese Space programme spokeswoman as saying: “Generally speaking, female astronauts have better durability, psychological stability and ability to deal with loneliness.”
Is that why have only 40 of the 460+ people who have gone into Space been women?