BAIKONUR, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Federal Space Agency announced on Friday that it is not ruling out that a crew consisting of women could be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in the future.
“I hope that women will join the crew, moreover, we are not limiting strictly whether one woman in six months or one in ten years should fly. We make an assessment due to the person’s professionalism and ambition,” Oleg Ostapenko, who heads the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said.
“If there is a big rush in women willing to fly to space, we will support this idea,” the Roscosmos chief said.
A Russian Soyuz TMA-14M manned spaceship on Thursday sent three new crew members to the International Space Station, including Russia’s Yelena Serova, her fellow cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyayev and NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore.
Serova is the first Russian woman to crew the ISS in the past 20 years. Her predecessor, Yelena Kondakova, made a five-month orbital flight aboard the Mir space station in 1994. Kondakova's second flight was as a mission specialist on the US Space Shuttle Atlantis in May, 1997.
Serova, 38, is the wife of Russian cosmonaut Mark Serov and one of five cosmonauts selected to raise the Russian flag at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
The first ever woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who flew on a Vostok spacecraft in 1963.