July 06, 2016

"When Kate Rubins was born in 1978, only one woman had flown in space."

Collect Space: Now, 38 years later, Rubins is on the verge of becoming the 60th woman to leave the planet. via NASA

'Scheduled to launch on a Russian spacecraft at 9:36 p.m. EDT tonight (July 6; 0136 GMT July 7), Rubins will spend the next four months conducting science on the International Space Station.

'"There's never been a time when I was a kid that I couldn't remember wanting to be an astronaut. It was always the standard 'little kid' answer when I was four, five, six, eight, 12 years old. I wanted to be an astronaut, a biologist and a geologist," said Rubins.

'A microbiologist with a doctorate in cancer biology, Rubins will be the first be the first researcher to sequence DNA in space. She was selected to become a NASA astronaut in 2009.

'On the space station, she will serve as a flight engineer for the Expedition 48 and 49 crews. Rubins will be the 224th person to enter the orbital laboratory, and the 34th woman aboard.'

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