Twelve people have touched the moon. None of them are women.
When President John F. Kennedy decided that the US should dedicate itself to the “impressive” and “important” goal of heading to the lunar surface in 1961, he mentioned only men.
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon,” Kennedy said.
Spaceflight historian and author Amy Sheira Teitel told Business Insider that there was one simple reason only men were selected to go to space at the time.
“When NASA recruited the first class of astronauts, they didn’t know what they were in for. They figured test pilots might be the best men for the job. And by default, military test pilots were exclusively male at the time. These were men who were used to testing unproven machines in the air,” Teitel said.
But women played many key roles in the success of the Apollo program.
“Women did everything that wasn’t actually going to the moon,” Teitel said.
Here are 15 women who helped make the July 20, 1969 moon landing possible 50 years ago.