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That time when NASA (almost) sent Sally Ride to space with 100 tampons

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Humor Us.

Ahead of her 1983 space flight, NASA suggested sending astronaut Sally Ride with 100 tampons for the week-long trip. (That's too many.) In 2020, comedian Marcia Belsky sang a song about it.

About Marcia Belsky

Marcia Belsky is a comedian and musician. She is the lead singer of the comedy duo Free the Mind. In April 2020, her song "100 Tampons" premiered on Comedy Central digital and went viral that year.

Belsky has co-written two musical parodies, "Handmaid's Tale: The Musical" and "Fiddler on the Rooftop Bar," and she is the creator of the "Headless Women of Hollywood" project, which highlights the objectification of women on film and television posters. She also co-hosted a podcast with comedian Rae Sanni called "Misandry with Marcia and Rae." Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Forward, among others.

Belsky lives in New York City.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Katie Simon and Manoush Zomorodi. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at

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Katie Monteleone
Katie Monteleone is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She started out as an intern for the show in January 2019. After her internship, Monteleone began producing for Life Kit before returning to the TED Radio Hour team in October 2019 as a full-time producer.
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Katie Simon
Katie Simon is the Supervising Editor for Embedded, which showcases premier enterprise documentary storytelling for NPR and the NPR Network.