T-Shirt, What Happens When Women Become Astronauts, Shuttle, Flown (Melroy)


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This T-shirt belonged to space shuttle astronaut Pamela Melroy. By her account, a shuttle technician at Kennedy Space Center gave it to her as a friendly joke before her first flight as pilot of the STS-92 mission on Discovery in 2000. Women were first admitted into the astronaut corps in 1978, and Melroy was one of only three women ever selected to be shuttle pilots. Contemporary cartoonists and pundits speculated about changes that might result from adding females to spaceflight crews. The design on this shirt reflects this not-always-humorous concern about women's presence in space. Melroy took the shirt on her flight and staged a photo with it.

She gave the shirt, and various other personal possessions and papers, to the Museum in 2018.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum



Credit Line

Gift of Pamela A. Melroy


  • Cotton
  • Ink


  • 3-D: 72 × 82.5 × 1cm (2 ft. 4 3/8 in. × 2 ft. 8 1/2 in. × 3/8 in.)
  • Size: Adult M [Medium] 38-40

Country of Origin

  • Mexico
  • United States of America



Inventory Number