Moonfest: Celebrating man landing on the moon
In 2019, the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of man landing on the moon. In an epic race to space between America & Russia, on the 16th of July, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped down onto the planet's surface and officially declared the war won for USA. Wanting to celebrate this remarkable achievement, a company called Little Earthquakes invited myself and fellow students onto a project which would visually explore the history of this journey to the stars: Moonfest.
However, as I began to sink my teeth into this challenge, I found myself conflicted by just what I was going to discuss in my work. The feats of men such as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins cannot be ignored but as a young woman, I couldn't help but think where are all the female astronauts and why is so little known about them? Surely if we are going to inspire future generations to continue the exploration of our universe we need to see each side of the story so no matter who you are, there is someone to look up to.
It was then I decided I would design for these forgotten heroes the magazine they were never celebrated in, taking the format of 'Life' as my inspiration. The women I uncovered were just as extraordinary as their male comrades, if not more so because their entrance into life exploring space was one littered with misogyny and sexism. People didn't believe women could fly- they argued all sorts of nonsense from jesting they wouldn't cope not being able to do their makeup to believing the lack of gravity would damage them internally and stop them having children. To a modern-day audience, it sounds ridiculous but these are some of the many things people like Sally Ride or Christa Mcauliffe had to combat alongside training for the discovery of space.
They all achieved incredible advancements in science- Laurel Clerk grew roses in space and proved you could cultivate plants outside of Earth's boundaries, whilst Kalpana Chawla designed technology which helped prevent sickness in space due to low-gravity. Mae C. Jemison broke down years of systemic racism when she flew out on the Endeavour by being the first black woman and black astronaut to ever be working on a long-term flight.
In short, these women deserve to go down in history as much as the male astronauts in NASA, and someday their journies will inspire the next set of astrological endeavours.