Fifty years ago, Valentina Terechkova became the first woman cosmonaut and is still the only woman to have performed a solo journey into space, but despite the strides women have made in the field since, they are still fairly under-represented.

Motivated by the idea that exploring our vast universe should be an equal opportunity for all, the European Space Agency has teamed up with Sipa Press to launch Space Girls, Space Women, a project that introduces us to three generations of women involved in space exploration.

Sipa employed a team of 11 renowned female photojournalists to travel the globe – from from Nairobi to Moscow, from Bangalore to Munich, from the Atacama Desert to the suburbs of Izmir – to meet “the girls who have their heads in the stars, female students passionate about space, and women who are today at the heart of the space adventure.”

The result is an exhibition of 19 original photo and video stories that are available to view on the Space Girls Space Women website and app. Future plans include a touring exhibition.

If you can see it, you can be it!


Branksome Hall School – Toronto, Canada

Zainab (right), 11 has ticket to fly to space with Virgin Galactic

Photo: Anya Chibisova / Sipa Press


Space Camp – Huntsville, USA

Abigail “Astronaut Abby” Harrison , 17, and Kim Spummels give the thumbs up before a simulated shuttle mission.

Photo: Audra Melton/Sipa Press


Esa Malindi Station – Luigi Broglio Space Center – Malindi, Kenya

Anita Vuya recently graduated from university with a degree in physics, and plans to continue her study of space science.

Photo: Nichole Sobecki/Sipa Press