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Mercury 13

In 1960, not long after NASA publicly announced the names of the seven pilots who became the first American men in space, a private organization started recruiting women to undergo some of the same psychological and physical tests administered to the so-called Mercury Seven. The purpose: to see if the challenges of flying beyond Earth’s atmosphere differed by gender.

Director: David Sington, Heather Walsh
Year: 2018
Time: 78 min

 Mercury 13
(2018) on IMDb

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International: Netflix
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Join Women In Aviation International. This non-profit organization helps provide year-round resources to assist women in aviation and promotes public understanding of the accomplishments of women in aviation.

Subscribe to NASA Solve. Keep up with opportunities to participate in challenges, prize competitions, and citizen science activities that develop solutions for problems related to NASA’s mission.

Inspire kids with NASA Education Projects. NASA’s A-Z list of education opportunities collects STEAM based internship and fellowship opportunities, as well as programs that provide pathways for students and recent graduates to be considered for federal employment.

Donate to the The Ninety-Nines, an international non-profit organization of women pilots that promotes advancement of aviation through education, scholarships, and mutual support while honoring our unique history and sharing a passion for flight.

Related Articles and Resources

History Of Women In Space

“59 different women total including cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists, and foreign nationals have flown in space.”

Learn more facts about the history of women in space on NASA’s website.

We fact-checked Mercury 13, Netflix’s doc about NASA’s first women astronaut trainees

“Some important context about the would-be first American women in space: how the program happened, and why it folded.”

Read the article on The Verge.

Timeline: Women in Space

“Hundreds of humans have flown in space. Only 40 women have made the journey…”

See the complete timeline on NPR.

Why Women Aren’t Allowed to be Astronauts

“Critics had plenty of reasons for wanting to disqualify women from spaceflight in its early stages—but none of them stuck.”

Read more on The Atlantic.

How Many Space Explorers are Women? This Infographic Has the Stats

“It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in various sectors, from politics and banking to engineering and computing. But what about when it comes to space exploration?”

Visit Big Think for their infographic.

Women in Aviation and Space History

“National Air and Space Museum visitors frequently ask, ‘Where are the women pilots?’ The answer is that they are in nearly every gallery of the Museum.”

Find all the women in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s exhibitions in their online guide.

Mercury 13: the Untold Story of Women Testing for Spaceflight in the 1960s

“In a new Netflix documentary, the tales of 13 female pilots who dreamed of becoming astronauts yet were denied the opportunity by Nasa are finally brought to light.”

Read more on The Guardian.

How the Real Pilots of Mercury 13 Made the Case for the U.S. to Send Women to Space

“The iconic line has become so familiar that it might be hard to imagine it any other way: as the first man on the moon put it, his achievement was ‘one small step for man.’ ”

Continue reading on Time.



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