In a historical first, NASA’s dream team has a bunch of trailblazing women at the forefront of its scientific operations. 

As of now, three out of its four science divisions are headed by women. 

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters said in an official statement released by NASA,

We have an extraordinary group of women responsible for the success of dozens of NASA space missions and research programs, revealing new insights about our planet, Sun and solar system. They are inspiring the next generation of women to become leaders in space exploration as we move forward to put the first woman on the Moon.

There’s Nicola Fox, Director of the Heliophysics division. 

“Ever since people first looked up, they’ve been looking at the bright light in the sky. We are really the oldest science branch.” 

-Nicola Fox

Sandra Cauffman, who is Acting Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. 

“What we do in observing Earth as a system gives us the additional benefit of helping humans here on Earth survive hurricanes, tornadoes, pollution, fires, and help public health. Understanding the oceans, the algae blooms — all of those things help humans right here on Earth.” 

-Sandra Cauffman

And Lori Glaze heading NASA’s Planetary Science division as Director. 


Not only are women pioneering these STEM divisions, even the newest class of astronauts has a significant number of women. In the latest batch of 12 astronauts, 5 are women.  

For years, women have been grossly underrepresented in STEM fields. NASA is paving the way for better gender representation in this domain. If all goes well the next Mars Rover that is likely to land on Mars in 2020 will be thanks to these brilliant women leaders. 

You can learn more about these amazing women of NASA here.