According to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who told Ira Flatow, the host of the radio show “Science Friday,” that the “first person on Mars is likely to be a woman.”
Because there was so little time left in the show, Bridenstine did not elaborate on that comment or explain any decisions NASA may have already made about potential astronauts for a planned Mars mission.
“NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent,” he said.
The NASA administrator did not identify a specific person but said women are at the forefront of the agency’s upcoming plans.
NASA will also have its first all-female spacewalk at the end of the month when astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will get to float around in space.
The spacewalk will last about seven hours, according to the US space agency.
The Huffington Post reported that the first six women joined NASA’s Astronaut Corps in 1978, and today, 34 per cent of the space agency’s active astronauts are women.