Teenager Lauren gets ready for a simulated lunar walk

Women of Nasa: past, present and future

Image credit: Rex Features

Women are seriously underrepresented in the space industry, at only 11 per cent of history’s space explorers. This could mean that the following list of inspirational women and girls are the ‘Hidden Figures’ of tomorrow. However, initiatives around the world are aiming to change that.

Samantha Cristoforetti is a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut, which stands at 199 days and 16 hours.

Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA astronaut

Image credit: Rex Features

Young student Mihaela uses the Space Station Mobility Trainer (on which astronauts train) at an international summer programme at Space Camp in Izmir, Turkey.

Young female student using the Space Station Mobility Trainer

Image credit: Rex Features

Teenager Lauren gets ready for a simulated lunar walk during a space camp at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Teenager Lauren gets ready for a simulated lunar walk

Image credit: Rex Features

Italian scientist Francesca Esposito works on the meteorological payload for the ExoMars project. She tested the instruments in the Merzuga desert, Morocco.

Italian scientist Francesca Esposito

Image credit: Rex Features

Mechanical engineer Emanuela Ciattaglia is assembly, integration and verification manager for the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) at the European Southern Observatory.

Mechanical engineer Emanuela Ciattaglia

Image credit: Rex Features

Tamara Tezzele is a payload engineer, and has been working for the French Space Agency as satellite facilities manager for almost five years.

Tamara Tezzele

Image credit: Rex Features

Alyssa, Margie and Olivia wait for graduation ceremonies to begin at Space Camp, Huntsville, America.

Students wait for graduation ceremony to begin

Image credit: Rex Features

Linea, a student, waits for instruction from flight deck in the mission operations control room at Space Camp in Huntsville, USA.

Student waits for instructions from flight deck

Image credit: Rex Features

Astronomer Fatoumata Kebe of the Observatory of Paris, specialised in space debris and the remnants of human activity in space for her PhD thesis.

Astronomer Fatoumata Kebe

Image credit: Rex Features

Young student Brianna follows her script during a Moon mission as part of training for the role of base commander, Space Camp, Huntsville, USA.

Young student Brianna

Image credit: Rex Features

Teenagers Abigail Harrison and Kim Spummels give the thumbs up before a simulated shuttle mission during Space Camp, Huntsville, America.

Teenage girls give thumbs up

Image credit: Rex Features

Kristiana, a young student, sits in the Five Degrees of Freedom chair, which simulates a frictionless environment, during a Space Camp in Izmir, Turkey.

Young student sits in Five Degrees of Freedom chair

Image credit: Rex Features

Engineering student Armelle at C’Space Biscarrosse, France.

Engineering student Armelle

Image credit: Rex Features

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