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NASA Actively Working To Get More Women Interested In Space Exploration, Trip To Mars

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- NASA is actively working to get more women interested in space exploration and going to Mars.

"We're trying to solve hard problems, and if we all think the same way, we're not going to make the same progress," Johnson Space Center's first female Director of Engineering, Lauri Hansen said.

The percentage of women working in the Center hasn't changed much in the recent past, but the roles of those women have changed dramatically.

In 1991, 35 percent of the women working in the Center were in clerical roles. Today, that's just three percent.

But, the biggest change is at the top, where 20 years ago, just 11 percent of supervisors at the Center were women. Today, it's 32 percent.

The shift is part of a movement toward getting humans to Mars.

"Very, very different requirements to keep humans alive," Hansen said.

NASA's Deep Space Astronaut program has four men, and four women.

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