In 1983, as Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, was preparing for her history-making flight aboard the space shuttle Challenger, engineers asked her if 100 tampons would be sufficient for her ONE WEEK mission. Really? Really! So in this second episode of Season 2 of The Space and Science Show from The Mars Generation, host Abigail Harrison, aka Astronaut Abby, gives us the logistical scoop on menstruating (and using IUDs and LARCs) in the radically different conditions of space.

In this episode, which is part of her Ask Abby series, Astronaut Abby, who aspires to be the first human on Mars, answers questions like: What options are available to women in space? What is menstrual suppression versus long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)? Are LARCs healthy to use on, say, a 3-year mission to Mars? What about IUDs? What would happen if you needed to get an IUD taken out while up in space? It’s not to be missed.

Abby founded The Mars Generation in 2015 when she was 18 year old. She’s since grown the nonprofit to be a global leader in exciting the next generation, especially girls and young women, about STEAM education and space exploration. Every initiative and piece of exciting programming, like The Space and Science Show, that comes out of the organization is driven by Abby, a now 21-year-old Wellesley College senior, studying Astrobiology and Russian. As a 5-year-old she dreamed of being an astronaut, and has since devoted her life and studies to making that a reality by working hard, acting big, and inspiring others.

With all Astronaut Abby continues to accomplish as a founder, student, and role model, she puts herself one step closer to her ultimate goal of being the first person to land on Mars.