June 22, 2022

Former NASA Second-in-Command Says She Was Called Vile Sexist Slurs at Agency

“Many who disagreed with my views attacked me with vulgar, gendered language, depredation, and physical threats.”

Gender Gap

It’s not a huge surprise that NASA is a boys club, but according to a former high-ranking official, the agency is more misogynist than we ever could have thought.

In her soon-to-be-released memoir, Lori Garver, who served as NASA’s deputy administrator during the Obama administration, has made some shocking claims about her treatment at the agency — including alleged verbal and physical threats of violence.

“Many who disagreed with my views attacked me with vulgar, gendered language, depredation, and physical threats,” Garver wrote in her forthcoming book, “Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age,” newly excerpted in Politico.

She added that unnamed coworkers call her “an ugly whore, a motherf*cking b*tch, and a c*nt; told I need to get laid, and asked if I’m on my period or going through menopause.”


This “male-dominated” and “military culture” at NASA led not only to direct attacks, Garver wrote in her book, but also to gender equity issues across the agency, which has to date never had a female administrator.

Per Politico‘s retelling, the root of much intra-NASA ire towards Garver seems to stem from her boosting of Elon Musk and SpaceX, whose story the ex-deputy administrator says is intrinsically tied up in her own.

NASA reportedly declined to comment on-record when Politico reached out to them, and Futurism has yet to hear back to our request for comment.

Regardless of the sources of tension, these claims are serious and paint NASA in a harsh light. If nothing else, it’s ballsy for Garver to openly call out the sexism she said she’s experienced, and it’s high time someone does something about it.

READ MORE: ‘Get your boy Elon in line’: NASA tell-all recounts turmoil over private space race [Politico]

More on NASA and diversity: Why Hasn’t NASA Hired More Black and Brown Astronauts?

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