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18 Famous Women Who Explored Space

On May 26, 1951, a girl born in Encino, California would grow up to become the first American woman in space. Though Sally Ride later inspired a whole generation of women to follow in her footsteps, she actually came from a long history of female astronomers and explorers.

From the women who looked skyward centuries ago, to those who continue the legacy, here are 15 pioneers who left their mark on the world and in the stars.