Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of Women's History Month: Almost Astronauts

Women were considered to be "cheaper" to send to space - but they couldn't pass the requirements to allow them into the program. There were several women who desperately wanted to be allowed into space. NASA refused. Men underwent strenuous testing that women couldn't possibly endure. Except that they did. With one man behind the idea - he tested Jerrie Cobb in secret. She knew that she had to be tough; she never complained and furthermore she excelled at the tests. Twenty-four other women were tested - half of them passed. But they were told by NASA and the government that women would not be accepted into the space program. For one reason: they did not preform the requirements. The requirement (waived for John Glenn) consisted of flying for the army - an option only available to men. NASA did not change the rule until 20 years later. By that time, it was too late for the Mercury 13 to pursue their dreams. But they watched other women lead men into space; it was both bittersweet and a long time coming.

I had never heard of this story before; it was a real eye opener. I devoured this book. It was amazing. I've never been so interested in space before. I loved hearing about the secret cover-ups and shocking tales from NASA. The history combined with personal tales and dreams from the Mercury 13 made for a very powerful and emotional read

While we take March to celebrate Women, it's something that we should celebrate daily.

Here's to all the women who have gone before us making it possible for us to be who we are today. We could have never been here without you!

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