How serious of a problem do you think gender inequality is in the scientific academic world? What would you do to correct it?
You caught a lot of heat for the "Dear Muslima" episode last year. Do you feel you were misinterpreted or misrepresented? Is there anything you regret or would have said differently in retrospect?
First, launch escape systems only work if activated prior to an explosion. It won't save the lives of astronauts after the fact, the abort has to be done prior to the catastrophic event.
Second, of course the the Space Shuttle had Launch abort system. It had "Abort to Landing Site", "Transoceanic Abort Landing", "Abort Once Around", and "Abort to Orbit". Only Abort to Orbit was used in the program (STS-51-F):
Additionally, there was equipment and flight software for crew inflight bailout:
This was not available during powered flight.
Writing software is more fun than working.