Women of Apollo

Meet the human computers, engineers and scientists who made the moon landing a reality


NASA planning the mission

Planning the mission

Sylvia Stottlemyer, an Apollo crew secretary, reflects on the evolving roles of women at NASA over the years and the Apollo program's meaning in American history and culture. She recalls meeting Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, and how it inspired her to pursue an advanced educational degree.

Moon landing newspaper
Katherine Johnson

Human computers

“Hidden Figures” author Margot Lee Shetterly explains how she came to write the book, how women held many of the “human computer” jobs at NASA during the early space program and their enduring legacy.

Photo credits: NASA

Women scientists at NASA


Saturn V launch for the Apollo 11 mission

Building NASA

Dawn Hoyle and Teresa Sullivan, who worked as NASA support staff members, explain how they came to form the group of Apollo-era women known as the “Sixties Chicks” and how it paved the way for other women who would work at NASA.

Sixties Chicks
Apollo 13 lunar module

Apollo Missions

 Frances “Poppy” Northcutt discusses being the first woman to work in NASA’s Mission Control, the harrowing Apollo 13 mission and how her experience in the space program shaped her later work as an attorney and women’s rights advocate.

Top photo credits: NASA

Apollo missions newspaper
The earth from the moon

Space manuevers

Sheila Thibeault, an aerospace engineer, talks about how she helped the Apollo 11 astronauts get back home through her work on the rendezvous docking simulator.

Photo credits: NASA

Apollo 11 lunar module


Women astronauts at NASA

First female astronauts

Carolyn Huntoon, the first woman to serve as director of the Johnson Space Center, was a member of NASA’s early medical program in charge of looking after the astronauts’ health. She discusses her role in the selection of the first female astronauts.

Carolyn Huntoon

Credits: Additional video editing: J.R. Lizarraga, Archival researcher: Jackeline Luna, page production by Andrea Roberson