Meet NASA's Female Pilots in Trailer for 'Mercury 13' Documentary
"I want to be up there, that's part of me!" Netflix has launched an official trailer for a documentary titled Mercury 13, made by filmmakers David Sington (In the Shadow of the Moon, The Fear of 13) & Heather Walsh. This doc profiles women who were tested in 1961 for spaceflight, but had their dreams dashed when only men were chosen to become astronauts. On April 9, 1959, NASA introduced their first astronaut class of all men, Mercury 7, to the world. This is the story of the 13 women who were just as deserving of their place in space. I'm sold already based on that pitch alone. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking, "I didn't know anything about these women?" Perhaps that's the way NASA wanted it to be, but now we get to learn their story. This looks like a great doc to watch when it's out. And I'm a big fan of the poster artwork below.
Here's the trailer (+ poster) for David Sington & Heather Walsh's doc Mercury 13, from YouTube:
Mercury 13 is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 before their dreams were dashed in being the first to make the trip beyond Earth. NASA’s ‘man in space’ program, dubbed ‘Project Mercury’ began in 1958. The men chosen – all military test pilots – became known as The Mercury 7. But away from the glare of the media, behind firmly closed doors, female pilots were also screened. Thirteen of them passed and, in some cases, performed better than the men. They were called the Mercury 13 and had the ‘right stuff’ but were, unfortunately, the wrong gender. Underneath the obsession of the space race that gripped America, the women were aviation pioneers who emerged thirsty for a new frontier, but whose time would have to wait. The film tells the definitive story of thirteen truly remarkable women who reached for the stars but were ahead of their time. Mercury 13 is co-directed by filmmakers David Sington (In the Shadow of the Moon, Thin Ice, The Fear of 13, Licence to Krill) & Heather Walsh (producer making her directorial debut). Netflix debuts the doc streaming exclusively starting April 20th.
Reader Feedback - 4 Comments
Basically, it's good to have women on board, right?
shiboleth on Apr 9, 2018
Oooo, great poster. Really good.
DAVIDPD on Apr 9, 2018
The show is fake history built on the heartbreak of the women who were talked into a doctor's private medical experiments with the lure of becoming astronauts. More details on genuine routes to women’s achievements in space [solid skills versus symbolic stunts]:: “Two commanders meet” http://www.thespacereview.com/article/988/1
Jim Oberg on Apr 24, 2018
Eisenhower's decision to only use experienced test pilots [a career closed to women in that era] was vindicated by subsequent spaceflight experience on early missions where test pilot skills proved critical to survival. No ground test or interview could identify those individuals who had the mental resilience to remain mentally functional under lethal threats, proven by passage through a career that killed a large fraction of their colleagues -- the survivors demonstrated they had the 'right stuff', not the expert opinion of some white-coated knee-thumper or clipboard-equipped therapist. Both men and women, some of each of them, had that mindset – but only the men had been through the meatgrinder of gruesome death that had filtered out those who did and those who didn’t. Skipping that self-selecting gamut that had further winnowed-out the candidates would have been dangerous to individuals and to entire programs. And when THAT ‘test pilot’ bottleneck WAS lifted [and further opened as flight experience promised to lower the odds of lethal surprises], women flowed into the program with the men, and on Challenger and Columbia and in training, paid with blood as they died alongside their male colleagues -- and nobody flinched because the requisite rite of passage was respected. Setting aside that filter for a stunt -- the route taken by the USSR -- was a dead-ended feel-good gimmick [look at how it sidelined other Russian space-minded women for half a century].
Jim Oberg on Apr 24, 2018
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