Jerrie Cobb, America’s first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

I first learned about Jerrie Cobb when I wrote my Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space in 1998 (a great year all around!).

She was among the Mercury 13 (whom no one has done a film on yet) who Jackie Cochran paid to take all the astronaut training given to the male candidates. Jerrie outscored them all – men and women – but then NASA added the requirement that astronauts also have experience as military test pilots – which, naturally, no women had ever done since they weren’t then allowed in those positions in any branch of the military.

What’s so cool about Jerrie is she taught me to keep on going no matter what – because when NASA said no, she spent the rest of her pilot career delivering humanitarian packages to the Amazon. She deserved to go into space. The best she got was when Eileen Collins became the first female pilot of the space shuttle and she invited Jerrie and the other surviving members of the Mercury 13 to the 1995 shuttle launch (Collins later also became the first female space commander.)

Amazing women all around – their names ought to be as well known as the boys who made it into orbit.

Jerrie Cobb, America's first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — America’s first female astronaut candidate, pilot Jerrie Cobb, who pushed for equality in space but never reached its heights, has died.

Cobb died in Florida at age 88 on March 18 following a brief illness. News of her death came Thursday from journalist Miles O’Brien, serving as a family spokesman.

In 1961, Cobb became the first woman to pass astronaut testing. Altogether, 13 women passed the arduous physical testing and became known as the Mercury 13. But NASA already had its Mercury 7 astronauts, all jet test pilots and all military men.

None of the Mercury 13 ever reached space, despite Cobb’s testimony in 1962 before a Congressional panel.

“We seek, only, a place in our nation’s space future without discrimination,” she told a special House subcommittee on the selection of astronauts.

Read Jerrie Cobb, America’s first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

JerrieCobb MercuryCapsule


Lear more about women in aviation and space with this encyclopedia

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science – 11 February 2019

Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science - 11 February 2019

Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science (un.org) by learning more about these amazing Women Scientists and Inventors and Many More in my books. Check your local library or bookstore today!

Maria Mitchell [pronounced “mə-RYE-ə”] (August 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889) was an American astronomer, who in 1847 by using a telescope, discovered a comet, which as a result became known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet.”[1] She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Frederick VI of Denmark. On the medal was inscribed “Non Frustra Signorum Obitus Speculamur et Ortus” in Latin (taken from Georgics by Virgil (Book I, line 257)[2] (English: “Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising [of the stars]”).[3] Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer.[4][5] –  Wikipedia

* That’s Maria you see center stage on the cover of Technical Innovation in American History above!

Bette Nesmith Graham (March 23, 1924 – May 12, 1980) was an American typist, commercial artist, and the inventor of Liquid Paper. She was the mother of musician and producer Michael Nesmith of The Monkees.[1] Wikipedia

* I researched Bette for Technical Innovation in American History as well as Why The Monkees Matter, talking about her famous musician sone, Michael

Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineerphysician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After medical school and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 until 1987, when she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to found a company researching the application of technology to daily life. She has appeared on television several times, including as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer and holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities. She is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization. Wikipeda

* Mae appears in both Women in American History and Technical Innovation in American History

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library