Seven of the Mercury 13 attended the STS-63 launch on 2 February 1995. Image credit: NASA
16 July 1969 is a day everyone should know, as it was the first time a member of the human race stepped foot on the Moon. Cemented in time by the iconic words of Neil Armstrong: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” This moment changed the course of history and sparked a passion for space and space exploration among billions of people around the globe. But what if it had been a woman? This might have been the case had it not been for the prejudice against woman in the 1960s.
Netflix’s latest documentary Mercury 13, available on 20 April 2018, focuses on the fate of 13 female pilots who were prevented from entering NASA’s space training program, even though they met – and in some cases even surpassed – their male counterparts’ requirements needed to go into space.
The space race began in the early 1960s as the pressure of the Soviet space program motivated NASA to be the first on the Moon. This captured the imagination of the whole country, as they all drove towards one ...