Space exploration has developed from early, unmanned space probes through the pioneering years of the Manned Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, to missions that now include women in the crew as a matter of course. Dave Shayler tells the story of the first woman balloonist in 1784 to their breakthrough as astronauts and cosmonauts in a range of professional roles. He covers the contribution women have made to space exploration and draws on interviews with Shuttle and Mir crew members who were women. These interviews detail the achievements of the first female Shuttle commander and the first female resident crew member of the International Space Station. These and many other events are presented in a detailed and highly readable account that recalls the difficult path to space exploration by women.