After Project Mercury began in 1958 it eventually chose seven men to be at the forefront of NASA’s space program – known as The Mercury 7. However, the same program also picked out thrirteen women suitable for the program and who, in some cases, performed better than the men. These Mercury 13 failed at only one thing – being the wrong gender. A new Netflix Original Documentary “Mercury 13” tells their story and is available from April 20th. You can see the trailer below.
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 Mercury 13 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. A Netflix original documentary directed by David Sington (The Fear of 13) and Heather Walsh.