AAS 197, January 2001
Session 23. HAD II
Special Session Oral, Monday, January 8, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Royal Palm 5/6

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[23.02] The Mercury 13 and the Selection of Women Astronauts

B. McNamara (NMSU)

In the early 1960s a question arose over the role of women in the American space program. Rumors were circulating in the space community that the Soviets were training women cosmonauts and this prompted interest in determining whether women could serve in a similar capacity in the U.S. program. A group of women, later to be called the Mercury 13, passed the initial medical tests for astronaut training, but then their program was suddenly cancelled. The first woman to fly in space would be a Russian, Valentina Tereshkova. In this talk the story of the Mercury 13 will be reviewed and the reasons for their program's termination will be discussed.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bmcnamar@nmsu.edu

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