Eight women between the ages of 18 and 24 have built an all-female space station in Kyrgyzstan. The space program there had collapsed in the late '80s and early '90s, and only one Kyrgyz has ever made it to space. Lacking the funds and infrastructure to have a sufficient space program have made this a challenging endeavor, but the Kloop Media Agency launched the Kyrgyz Space Program despite these challenges -- and tackling gender inequality at the same time. In a country where 12% of girls are married by the time they are 18 and gender stereotypes are strong, fostering independent thinking for young women is difficult. The program is funded through monthly crowdsourcing and grants, and the participants have already learned how to code, weld and use Arduino boards. In this article, we meet the eight women in the program.

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