“Astronauts don’t have to be either very feminine or very masculine women or very superhuman males, or any color or anything,” Judy Resnik said in 1979 while training for the astronaut corps. “It’s about people in space.”
On June 28, 1978, Resnik was selected as part of the first female astronaut class to feature women.
She was the second American female astronaut in space, following ’78 classmate Sally Ride. She logged 145 hours in orbit, traveling to space on the first flight of the shuttle orbiter Discovery in 1984. That crew deployed three satellites and removed ice particles from the orbiter, earning them the nickname “Icebusters.”
Tragically, Resnik’s second trip into orbit was set to be on STS-51-L aboard the Challenger. Resnik and the crew were lost when the shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff.
Space Center Houston honors her and the fallen crew of Challenger by memorializing her T-38 flight training suit in Astronaut Gallery.