When women astronauts finally joined the shuttle astronaut corps in 1978, we’re pretty sure they had bigger things on their minds than how their eyelashes would look in space. But a recent tweet from NASA reveals that their engineers assumed female astronauts would need makeup in space, so these educated men created a makeup kit for their travels.
The tweet from the official NASA History Office quotes Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, who sees how silly this notion was. “The engineers at NASA, in their infinite wisdom, decided that women astronauts would want makeup - so they designed a makeup kit... You can just imagine the discussions amongst the predominantly male engineers about what should go in a makeup kit," she said.
There’s even a photo of the interstellar makeup kit, which was never actually used, showing the eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, eye makeup remover, blush, and lip gloss it contained. Personal hygiene kits for space travel were nothing new, they’d been around since the ‘60s for the male astronauts, only theirs were for soap, deodorant, a razor, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
Now, if women want to wear makeup in space, more power to them. But in 2015 when a group of six Russian female cosmonauts were asked how they were going to cope without makeup in an eight-day space simulation, the answer one of them gave nails how ridiculous the idea is. “I don’t know how we’ll survive without shampoo,” she replied sarcastically. “Because even in this situation, we really want to stay looking pretty.”