- Joan Kerwin (right), Director of The Ninety-Nines, entrusting the watch belonging to Amelia Earhart to the astronaut Shannon Walker.Crédit : The Ninety-Nines
In 1932, American pilot Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Prior to her disappearance during a circumnavigational flight around the world in 1937, she took part in the founding of The Ninety-Nines (as uniting 99 aviatrixes), a company tasked with the promotion of female pilots. This non-profit making organisation has entrusted the watch that Amelia Earhart wore during her Atlantic crossing to astronaut Shannon Walker so that she might take it aboard the International Space Station as a symbol of women’s flight to the stars. The Soyuz TMA-19 that carried Shannon Walker and her colleagues (Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin and American Douglas Wheelock) having safely arrived at its destination, the watch which still works, is now orbiting the Earth. On her return, the American astronaut is to return this historic watch to its current owner, Joan Kerwin, one of the directors of The Ninety-Nines.
Published on 21 June 2010