For the first time, Martha Ackmann tells the story of the dramatic events surrounding these thirteen remarkable women, all crackerjack pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in Americaâs space race against the Soviet Union. In addition to talking extensively to these women, Ackmann interviewed Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and others at NASA and in the White House with firsthand knowledge of the program, and includes here never-before-seen photographs of the Mercury 13 passing their Lovelace tests.
Despite the crushing disappointment of watching their dreams being derailed, the Mercury 13 went on to extraordinary achievement in their lives: Jerrie Cobb, who began flying when she was so small she had to sit on pillows to see out of the cockpit, dedicated her life to flying solo missions to the Amazon rain forest; Wally Funk, who talked her way into the Lovelace trials, went on to become one of the first female FAA investigators; Janey Hart, mother of eight and, at age forty, the oldest astronaut candidate, had the political savvy to steer the women through congressional hearings and later helped found the National Organization for Women.
A provocative tribute to these extraordinary women, The Mercury 13 is an unforgettable story of determination, resilience, and inextinguishable hope.
About: In 1961, Martha Ackmann and twelve other remarkable women secretly tested and passed the same battery of tests as the Mercury 7 astronauts, but were summarily dismissed at NASA and on Capitol Hill.
About: Profiles the thirteen women, all pilots who passed the same battery of tests as the Mercury 7 astronauts, who were chosen as America's first female astronauts but who were refused the opportunity to participate.
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