Sta­tis­tics show NASA has been tra­di­tion­ally re­luc­tant to put a fe­male in space. Not so in Hol­ly­wood. Here are the top 10 women who kick butt in zero- grav­ity con­di­tions on the big screen.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - LEIGH PAATSCH

Galaxy of girl power

1 Ellen Ri­p­ley ( Sigour­ney Weaver) in Aliens ( 1986)

Former chief war­rant of­fi­cer of the space­ship Nostromo – and the tough­est, smartest and most de­ter­mined woman to ever leave Earth’s at­mos­phere. Pro­fi­cient in all forms of arms han­dling and large ma­chin­ery op­er­a­tion. As males around her per­ish be­cause of their own stu­pid­ity, Ri­p­ley clev­erly im­pro­vises a one- woman as­sault on the alien mother beast – all the while fight­ing her own ma­ter­nal in­stincts.

Lit­tle- known fact: About 200 years af­ter her death, Ri­p­ley was cloned as part of an ex­per­i­ment to breed su­per- hu­man alien hy­brids. It did not go well. See Alien: Res­ur­rec­tion ( 1997) for full re­sults.

2 El­iz­a­beth Shaw ( Noomi Ra­pace) in Prometheus ( 2012)

A next- gen Ri­p­ley? Ab­so­lutely. In spite of her rather del­i­cate pedi­gree as a field ar­chae­ol­o­gist, she can more than han­dle her­self against ag­gres­sive alien species of in­dis­crim­i­nate ori­gin. Ex­ceed­ingly high pain thresh­old ( see scene where she per­forms rad­i­cal med­i­cal pro­ce­dure upon her­self).

Lit­tle- known fact: Her mis­sion­ary worker dad died in the mid- 2070s from Ebola virus.

3 Neytiri ( Zoe Sal­dana) in Avatar ( 2009)

Fear­less Navi princess war­rior from the moon king­dom of Pan­dora ( di­rec­tions: head to Al­pha Cen­tauri star sys­tem, turn left at the gas gi­ant Polyphe­mus). More than 2m tall, equally skilled in air and ground com­bat and very handy with a knife.

Lit­tle- known fact: Ac­cord­ing to James Cameron’s orig­i­nal notes, Neytiri is only 18- years- old ‘‘ in hu­man time’’ but al­ready con­sid­ered a Navi el­der.

4 Princess Leia Or­gana ( Carrie Fisher) in

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope ( 1977) Ev­ery­one’s favourite space royal. OK, so it’s only out of her and Natalie Port­man’s dull old Princess Ami­dala. Still, a win is a win. And poor old Leia did have to get around with that bad cin­na­mon bun hairdo.

Lit­tle- known fact: In early drafts of A New Hope, Princess Leia had two broth­ers – Prince Biggs and Prince Windy.

5 Lt. Ny­ota Uhura ( Zoe Sal­dana) in Star Trek ( 2009)

Crack com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer whose mas­tery of ob­scure space di­alects of­ten saves the day for USS En­ter­prise. She con­tin­u­ally has Spock wor­ried their ro­man­tic chem­istry might fall foul of Starfleet’s HR depart­ment.

Lit­tle- known fact: Ny­ota is one of three Swahili words for ‘‘ star’’.

6 Carolyn Fry ( Radha Mitchell) in Pitch Black ( 2000)

Co- cap­tain of ill- fated space trans­porter Hunter- Grazner, which crash- lands on an in­hos­pitable planet. Forms un­easy al­liance with a dis­rep­utable fugi­tive named Rid­dick to save the ves­sel’s sur­vivors from cer­tain death at the hands of noc­tur­nal hun­ters.

Lit­tle- known fact: Fry is ac­tu­ally aged in her 40s, but looks about 25 be­cause she has spent so long in cryo- sleep cham­bers .

7 Lt. Car­men Ibanez ( Denise Richards) in Star­ship Troop­ers ( 1997)

Lt. Ibanez is a highly skilled space pi­lot who can also dis­mem­ber a mon­ster- sized arach­nid at close range. Highly mo­ti­vated to suc­ceed af­ter her home­town of Buenos Aries is oblit­er­ated by an as­ter­oid.

Lit­tle- known fact: The project was sold to Touch­stone Pic­tures with the un­promis­ing work­ing ti­tle of Bug Hunt at Out­post Nine.

8 Cassie ( Rose Byrne) in Sun­shine ( 2007)

The sec­ond fully- li­censed space­ship pi­lot listed here, Cassie is one of eight brave souls who ac­cept a 2057 sui­cide mis­sion to­wards a fad­ing sun. By help­ing to jump- start the dy­ing star, she may save all mankind.

Lit­tle- known fact: Sci­en­tists do pre­dict a dis­tant fu­ture where man will be forced to ar­ti­fi­cially boost the sun’s power in some way.

9 Bar­barella ( Jane Fonda) in Bar­barella ( 1968)

The most pro­mis­cu­ous space hero­ine of all- time, Bar­barella struts her in­ter- galac­tic stuff in the year 40,000. On the ev­i­dence pre­sented here, mankind faces a fu­ture where clothes will fall off for no ap­par­ent rea­son.

Lit­tle- known fact: Bar­bie’s pervy arch- neme­sis Du­rand- Du­rand in­spired the name of ’ 80s pop sen­sa­tions Du­ran Du­ran.

10 Su­san Storm ( Jes­sica Alba) in Fan­tas­tic Four ( 2005)

Ac­com­plished as­tro­naut and ge­net­ics sci­en­tist who re­turns from post­ing to a space sta­tion with a rad­i­cal set of su­per­pow­ers. She can es­tab­lish large force fields when an­gry, and be­come in­vis­i­ble on de­mand.

Lit­tle- known fact: Is a close per­sonal friend of ob­scure Mar­vel Comics su­per­heroine She- Hulk.

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