In our first space age, we watched as buff-bodied astronauts and can-do men in mission control got us to the moon and back, while space exploration remained an impossible dream for women. Before affirmative action policies, the few women who managed to find positions in the aerospace industry faced formidable and unrelenting workplace challenges. Before STEM education efforts, there were few opportunities and little or no encouragement for girls who yearned to someday explore space.

Now, nearly half a century since humans left Earth orbit, a new space age has begun. How can we ensure that women play integral roles in current and future space exploration efforts worldwide, not only as high profile astronauts, cosmonauts, and taikonauts, but as skilled members of the global “village” it will take to make all of this happen?


Donna Shirley

She sent the first female to Mars, a rover named Sojourner Truth


Kenya Armbrister

She spent time in the desert to prepare for life on Mars


Susan Ip Jewell

She trains teams to survive in Mars simulations on Earth


Yvonne Cagle

She's a pioneering astronaut still waiting to claim her place in space


Carol Stoker

She sends robots to search for "life as we don't know it" on Mars


Teresa Segura

Her past portraits of Mars paint the planet as wet, warm and wild


Margaret Race

She's a "planetary protector" who keeps Mars safe from Earthly contamination


Lynn Harper

She forges connections among public and private groups to secure all our futures in space


Heather Archuletta

She stayed in bed for 90 days to help humans get to Mars


Bas Lansdorp

His vision for Mars stresses diversity


Madame Mars is populated by accomplished, intelligent and curious women who not only share the dream of finding one’s own place in space, but also a commitment to the ensuring that humanity will represent itself accurately and completely as we take our next big step out into the universe.