“We honor these women so that their names and accomplishments are never forgotten,” said Dr. Peggy Chabrian, WAI president and founder. “These are women who didn’t just break down barriers; they opened the door for other women as well.”
Col. Nancy J. Currie (USAF ret.) became a NASA astronaut in 1991. Her technical assignments within the Astronaut Office included flight crew representative for crew equipment; lead for the Remote Manipulator System, and spacecraft communicator, providing a communications interface between ground controllers and flight crews. A veteran of three space flights, she has logged more than 737 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-57 in 1993, STS-70 in 1995, and STS-88 in 1998 (the first International Space Station assembly mission).
Beryl Markham was a British-born author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night.
Sally Ride was the first American woman to go into space when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. She was also the first American woman to travel to space a second time when she was aboard another Challenger mission in 1984. A long-time advocate for improved science education, Dr. Ride wrote five science books for children: To Space and Back; Voyager; The Third Planet; The Mystery of Mars; and Exploring Our Solar System. She also initiated and directed education projects designed to fuel middle school students' fascination with science.
Sheila Scott was a British pilot who, between 1965 and 1972, flew her way into aviation history with more than 100 flying records, trophies and awards. Scott first flew around the world in 1966, covering about 31,000 miles in 189 flying hours. She set world records when she flew between London and Cape Town (1967) and across the North Atlantic Ocean (1967), the South Atlantic Ocean (1969), and from equator to equator over the North Pole (1971). After her record polar flight, she made a third around-the-world solo flight, earning her 100th world-class record. She wrote I Must Fly (1968) and On Top of the World (1973; U.S. title Barefoot in the Sky, 1974).
The Women in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators.