Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spacey Women

Astronaut "Sunny" Williams set a new record this week, (quoting from NASA's website story):
. . . for the longest duration spaceflight by a woman. At that time, Williams surpassed Shannon Lucid’s mark of 188 days, 4 hours set in 1996.
Commander, USN, Sunita Williams has proven to be an amazing asset to the space program. She is a very talented woman who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987. She was a naval diving officer and a helicopter test pilot, She received her Master's in Engineering Management in 1995. She is bright, flexible, a great communicator and workmate for whatever crew of which she has been a part. She has worked in Moscow with the Russian Space Agency. And Williams has lived underwater in the NASA Aquarius habitat for nine days. She just loves to fly, to fly the Robotic arms of the shuttle and the ISS, and she ran in the Boston Marathon while in space. The astronaut also likes to space "walk." Suni estalished a world record for females with four space walks totaling 29+ hours of EVA. She graduated high school in Massachusetts and is married to Michael J. Williams.

Further info - headlined, "Shuttle Astronaut Sets New Record, Crew Works at ISS," in an article by Tariq Malik, Staff Writer, that was posted on 16 June 2007, at To quote,

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams set a new spaceflight record early Saturday as she and her Atlantis shuttle crewmates continue their mission to the International Space Station (ISS). At precisely 1:47 a.m. EDT (0547 GMT), Williams took the all-time title for the longest spaceflight by a female astronaut as she passed the 188-day, four-hour mark in Earth orbit. "This has been my home. I love living up here," Williams told CBS News earlier this week, adding that the station is great place to work, even if unfinished. "Hopefully, over the past six months, a lot of people have joined me and been able to see that." Williams' spaceflight surpassed that of fellow NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid, who spent just over 188 days in orbit during a 1996 mission to Russia's Mir Space Station. By coincidence, Williams set the new record on the 44th anniversary of the launch of the first female spaceflyer Valentina Tereshkova, a cosmonaut launched by the former Soviet Union in 1963.

Russian Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova launched on June 16, 1963 (image: Ria Novosti)

"The story of women in Space" can be found in this Russian News and Information Agency story written by Yury Zaitsev (3/13/07). Quoting from the "opinion and analysis" piece,

March 12, 1962 is the official date of the establishment of a women's group in the first division of cosmonauts. Five people were selected from more than a thousand applicants: engineer Irina Solovyova, mathematician and programmer Valentina Ponomaryova, textile worker Valentina Tereshkova, teacher Zhanna Yerkina and shorthand secretary Tatyana Kuznetsova. [after training] . . . The women's group was officially introduced to general designer Sergei Korolyov after the final examination for basic space training. Korolyov asked each one to tell her story. Then he wanted to know what made them seek a space career. Towards the end he grew gloomy and later, speaking to a small circle of people, expressed his dissatisfaction with the group's composition. In his view, none of the group members had much to do with space and rockets. . . . On June 16, 1963, two of the women - Tereshkova and Solovyova - arrived at the launch pad clad in spacesuits. When Solovyova had first donned her suit, its sealing in the neck area broke and the spacesuit had to be changed quickly for Ponomaryova's one. If Tereshkova's suit had ruptured, there would have been no replacement because of the difference in the women's heights, and then Irina Solovyova might have become the world's first woman in space. [concluding paragraph] . . . When the women's team had been disbanded, only Tereshkova had stayed on with the cosmonauts' detachment. She remained there until 1997 (on a purely formal basis) and retired with the rank of Major-General. Since then, no women have been enlisted. Eight women were recruited by Energia and the Institute of Medical and Biological Studies for orbital flights, but only two of them - Svetlana Savitskaya, the marshal's daughter, and Yelena Kondakova, the wife of Valery Ryumin, a cosmonaut and deputy CEO of Energia - were lucky enough to go aloft. The last woman in Energia's team of cosmonauts was Nadezhda Kuzhelnaya. She had no high-placed relatives and, though considered a top-notch specialist, never made it into space.
References: Sunita Williams at Wikipedia; and Valentina Tereshkova from the Encyclopedia Britannica online, from which I quote,

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova Soviet cosmonaut, the first woman to travel into space. On June 16, 1963, she was launched in the spacecraft Vostok 6, which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours. In space at the same time was Valery F. Bykovsky, who had been launched two days earlier in Vostok 5; both landed on June 19.

Previous South by Southwest posts about "spacey women" - I count myself as one of them:
  1. Texas Women & Claims to Fame
  2. More about Leadership and Women's Roles
  3. Women are Good Communicators
  4. STS - Still Holding

Myth is the public dream, and dream is the private myth. - Joseph Campbell

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.