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The International Women's Air & Space Museum is located in the terminal of Burke Lakefront Airport. Since we are located in a public building, admission to the museum is free. Even if you have visited IWASM in the past, we welcome you to visit us again as exhibits change often and there are always opportunities to see something new.
Did you know?
- Napoleon appointed a woman, Madame Blanchard, as his Chief Air Minister of Ballooning in 1804. Women have a long history of active participation in ballooning. For instance, Connie Wolf, long-time balloonist, loaned her balloon to the motion picture producers of the movie “Around the World in 80 Days.”
- The Wright Brothers’ sister, Katharine, although not a pilot herself, encouraged and supported her brothers. She was one of the many “silent” women contributing to the advancement of aviation. A special exhibit on Katharine Wright is on display at the Museum. It is one of many exhibits which illustrate the historic achievements of women in aviation. World War II demonstrated women’s value to their countries’ defense.
- England and the U.S. employed women pilots to fill jobs ordinarily restricted to men – to ferry aircraft from the factories to the airfield, to test aircraft, to pilot transports, to tow targets, etc. The WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots) were a group of brave and patriotic American women. Thirty-eight WASP gave their lives in service to the United States during WWII. These women were the forerunners of today’s military women in aviation.
- Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union was the first woman to orbit the earth in 1963. As early as 1961, the United States had 13 women with the “right stuff.” Those first astronaut trainees pioneered the way for women to fully participate in the U.S. space program today. The legacy of their hard work paid off 22 years later, in 1983, with Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space.