The Largely Forgotten "Mercury 13"

Share this & earn $10
Highlight History
Published at : 04 Dec 2020
15610 views
1498
14

On February 14, 1960, Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb arrived at the sprawling Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and prepared to make history. At age 30, Cobb was already one of the world’s most accomplished female pilots, having been the first woman to fly the Paris Air Show and holding three world records for speed, distance, and absolute altitude for light aircraft. But all these accomplishments paled next to the challenge that now lay before her, for Cobb was about to brave the same battery of medical tests that had been used to select the Mercury Seven, America’s first astronauts.

On December 17, 1958, more than a year after the launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, the newly-formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the creation of Project Mercury, America’s first manned space program. The goals of Project Mercury were to place a man in orbit, evaluate whether he could effectively live and work there, and return him safely to the earth. Yet despite these relatively modest aims, the technological challenge was immense, with much of the required technology - from rockets and spacecraft to guidance and life support systems to a worldwide orbital tracking system - having to be adapted from existing military equipment or developed from scratch. Yet the greatest unknown was the human who would occupy the spacecraft itself - the astronaut.

In the late 1950s, little was known about the effects of spaceflight on the human body, with doctors variously speculating that microgravity might disorient and incapacitate an astronaut, cause their eyeballs to deform, or make swallowing food impossible. Given these unknowns, at first NASA struggled to decide just who to send into space. While a variety of candidates were initially put forth including circus performers, race car drivers, mountaineers, deep-sea divers, and other adventurers, in the end the selection committee narrowed their focus to an altogether rarer breed: military test pilots. Test pilots, NASA reasoned, were already tough, resourceful, cool under pressure, and accustomed to handling experimental vehicles under extreme conditions. Based on this decision the committee produced a set of selection criteria which were distributed to all military test flying establishments. According to these requirements, the ideal astronaut candidate was under 40 years old and 5 feet 11 inches in height, married, in peak physical condition, a qualified jet test pilot with at least 1500 hours flying time, and possessed a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Of 508 total submissions 32 pilots were selected for final evaluation, being subjected to a gruelling series of physical and psychological tests intended to push their bodies and minds to their absolute limits. Finally, on April 9, 1959, NASA unveiled America’s first group of astronauts, who would forever be known as the “Mercury Seven.” They were Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Leroy Gordon Cooper, and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton of the U.S. Air Force; Alab B. Shepard, Malcolm Scott Carpenter, and Walter M. “Wally” Schirra of the U.S. Navy; and John H. Glenn of the U.S. Marine Corps. All were chosen for their unique combination of skill, intuition, and nerve that in test pilot circles became known simply as “The Right Stuff.”

But while most agreed the Mercury Seven were the absolute best that could have been chosen under the circumstances, many wondered whether others might also have the Right Stuff - including women. Among these were Air Force Brigadier General Donald Flickinger and Dr. William R. Lovelace, who had designed many of the medical tests used to select the astronauts. At the time medical knowledge of female physiology was limited in extreme scenarios, but it was known that on average women were lighter and more compact than men, consumed less food, oxygen, and water, and were better able to withstand long periods of tedium - ideal qualities for an astronaut. But Flickinger and Lovelace knew that without hard data NASA would never consider making women astronauts, so the two conceived of a research program wherein female pilots would be run through the same evaluation tests as the male astronauts. Phase I testing would take place at Lovelace’s research clinic in Albuquerque , and Phase II at Wright-Paterson Air Force Base in Ohio. All that was needed was the right test subject.

They didn’t have long to wait.
LargelyForgotten"Mercury

The Rules of Basketball - EXPLAINED!

The Rules of Basketball - EXPLAINED!

[Playlist] 우리 나중에 파리 여행 가면 에펠탑 보면서 같이 듣자

[Playlist] 우리 나중에 파리 여행 가면 에펠탑 보면서 같이 듣자

13 Cool Chrome Extensions You've Never Heard Of!

13 Cool Chrome Extensions You've Never Heard Of!

Aim & QNC - 'The Reunion' feat. B-Luv

Aim & QNC - 'The Reunion' feat. B-Luv

If You Are Happy And You Know It - Songs For Kids, Nursery Rhymes | Bichikids

If You Are Happy And You Know It - Songs For Kids, Nursery Rhymes | Bichikids

ЭТО ФЕНОМЕНАЛЬНО! Что творит русский изобретатель!

ЭТО ФЕНОМЕНАЛЬНО! Что творит русский изобретатель!

I Was Contacted By A Paranormal Investigator!!! 😱😱😱

I Was Contacted By A Paranormal Investigator!!! 😱😱😱

Guide to Buying Woodworking Bench Chisels

Guide to Buying Woodworking Bench Chisels

All You Need To Know ft. Calle Lehmann (Acoustic Video)

All You Need To Know ft. Calle Lehmann (Acoustic Video)

Self Assured Conceitedness

Self Assured Conceitedness

AliDropship Plugin Tutorial WOO [How to build a dropshipping site] WooCommerce dropshipping

AliDropship Plugin Tutorial WOO [How to build a dropshipping site] WooCommerce dropshipping

Tove Lo - Glad He's Gone

Tove Lo - Glad He's Gone

Josh Wilson - Revolutionary (Official Lyric Video)

Josh Wilson - Revolutionary (Official Lyric Video)

The Sensation - Baby

The Sensation - Baby

Something Strange Was Found Under The Jupiter’s Red Spot

Something Strange Was Found Under The Jupiter’s Red Spot

The Herd Mentality PC

The Herd Mentality PC

Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Flyleaf - I'm So Sick

Flyleaf - I'm So Sick

Malta experience | Jugipelaa | Water fight |  Around the Globe 1 - Pilot

Malta experience | Jugipelaa | Water fight | Around the Globe 1 - Pilot

dream REVEAL his SECRET PLAN to DESTROY lmanberg and BUILD A PRISON on dream smp

dream REVEAL his SECRET PLAN to DESTROY lmanberg and BUILD A PRISON on dream smp

Pills (Official Visual)

Pills (Official Visual)

'Alt-Right' Leader On Liberals: 'Their Whole Life Is Based On Hate'

'Alt-Right' Leader On Liberals: 'Their Whole Life Is Based On Hate'

"Using" by Sorority Noise

"Using" by Sorority Noise

Ирония судьбы, или С легким паром 1 серия (комедия, реж. Эльдар Рязанов, 1976 г.)

Ирония судьбы, или С легким паром 1 серия (комедия, реж. Эльдар Рязанов, 1976 г.)

EXCLUSIVE: See The Most Intricate Outfit the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Has Ever Done

EXCLUSIVE: See The Most Intricate Outfit the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Has Ever Done

People with strict parents, what was the most unreasonable rule you had to follow growing up?

People with strict parents, what was the most unreasonable rule you had to follow growing up?

VIDEO FILMING for SPORTSWEAR STORE / Danatar Backstage

VIDEO FILMING for SPORTSWEAR STORE / Danatar Backstage

Inspire (HD)

Inspire (HD)

The Help - Official Trailer 2011 (HD)

The Help - Official Trailer 2011 (HD)

Leo | Extraordinarily Ordinary

Leo | Extraordinarily Ordinary

Morcheeba - Otherwise

Morcheeba - Otherwise

I Was Offered $$$ To Date The Least Popular Kid At My School. I Accepted

I Was Offered $$$ To Date The Least Popular Kid At My School. I Accepted

Tõnu Kõrvits - I Gaze At The Mountain

Tõnu Kõrvits - I Gaze At The Mountain

We Ate EVERYTHING We Wanted On Erik's BIRTHDAY!

We Ate EVERYTHING We Wanted On Erik's BIRTHDAY!

Spin Rewriter 11 - Sneak Peek (Side-by-Side Feature)

Spin Rewriter 11 - Sneak Peek (Side-by-Side Feature)

How to Revert a File to a Previous Version Using BlackBerry Workspaces

How to Revert a File to a Previous Version Using BlackBerry Workspaces

(Yiruma) May Be  - Sungha Jung

(Yiruma) May Be - Sungha Jung

Forbidden Love with the Hottest Night Market Street Vendor in Thailand

Forbidden Love with the Hottest Night Market Street Vendor in Thailand

Deontay wilder throwing in towel !! Rematch

Deontay wilder throwing in towel !! Rematch

Anxiety as Fuel for Artistic Creativity | Sharon Dowell | TEDxCharlotte

Anxiety as Fuel for Artistic Creativity | Sharon Dowell | TEDxCharlotte

Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's Convoy Attacked in Gaya, Manjhi Escaped Unhurt

Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's Convoy Attacked in Gaya, Manjhi Escaped Unhurt

What is :The Land Rover Range Rover (generally known simply as a Range Rover)

What is :The Land Rover Range Rover (generally known simply as a Range Rover)

Miracle Happens : Attract Massive Amount of Money Immediately💰Wealth, Money Luck & Prosperity

Miracle Happens : Attract Massive Amount of Money Immediately💰Wealth, Money Luck & Prosperity

We Placed 4th in the Final Round of Ninja Battles ($8,000) | Bugha

We Placed 4th in the Final Round of Ninja Battles ($8,000) | Bugha

Frank Turner - The Way I Tend To Be (Live)

Frank Turner - The Way I Tend To Be (Live)

She`ll be coming - The BEST SONGS for Kids | LooLoo Kids

She`ll be coming - The BEST SONGS for Kids | LooLoo Kids

Cut Back

Cut Back

Health Predictions: the future of healthcare (ISCF - Ageing Society)

Health Predictions: the future of healthcare (ISCF - Ageing Society)

*New Seraphine Gameplay* Riot really messed up... (GOD TIER MID LANER)

*New Seraphine Gameplay* Riot really messed up... (GOD TIER MID LANER)