Back in October 2018, I wrote about the 13 women who trained to be astronauts in 1961. Their program was shut down before any of them could be selected for a space mission. Today, one of the 13 astronaut-trained women, 82 year old Wally Funk, will be on a space mission with Jeff Bezos. The flight can be watched here: https://www.blueorigin.com/
Right now, it is 8:12am Central time, and lift off is imminent. They have closed the hatch and are posting updates to their https://www.blueorigin.com/ site.
UPDATE 8:36am: The flight is back on earth, and here is a screen capture of Wally Funk emerging from the capsule!
My post from 2018:
Mercury 13–what I’ve been watching
This week I watched the Mercury 13 documentary on Netflix. It is about the thirteen woman astronauts who trained for the space program in 1961.
I tried to be inspired and not let myself be consumed with anger at the stories told in this documentary. It wasn’t easy. There were plenty of moments that moved me to tears, at how these brilliant, accomplished aviators and scientists were trivialized and relegated to lesser status for being women. They were put through more rigorous testing than the male astronauts, and scored better on some tests. These 13 women qualified, but were banned from the missions to space.
Below is an excerpt from one of the woman astronauts’ testimony before Congress. She used the exclusion of woman nurses from Civil War field hospitals as her example of why women should be allowed on space missions.
National hero John Glenn then testified, drawing laughter from the senators when he said he would welcome qualified women astronauts with ‘open arms’. Then President Johnson ended the women astronaut program, saying, “We have to shut this thing down.”
The IMDB listing. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8139850/
Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_13