Mercury 13

Synopsis: This documentary profiles women who were tested in 1961 for spaceflight, but had their dreams dashed when only men were chosen to become astronauts.
Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes:
78 min


Most harmful behavior is based in fear.

Protecting ones perceived position

in society

protecting ones territory,

or ones physical well-being.

But progress is inevitable.

This is Apollo Control.

The situation is go for landing.

Repeat again, we are go for landing.

There was, at that time,

a lot of prejudice.

Women astronauts. What a ridiculous idea.


Youre five by, Jim. Were sailing free.

Okay, Jim. How do you read? Over.

I read you loud and clear.

You sound beautiful.

I think we all know why it didnt happen.

Okay. 300 feet.

Fifteen down.

Take over, Sarah.

It was a good old boy network.

And there was no such thing

as a good old girl network.

Okay. Fuel is at ten percent.

I guess we did it so well,

they didnt like that. So

Here comes the shadow.

Perfect place over here. I see

a couple of big boulders, not too bad.

I still didnt tell people

that I wanted to be an astronaut.

I was just gonna do it.

Youre leveled off. Let her on down.

Okay. Seven, six percent. Pretty fast.

Contact. Stop!

Someone has to start the fight

to change the opinion.

Someone has to lead the way.

Thats one small leap for a woman

another giant step for mankind.


- How we doing?

- Great.

Good to see you.

- Hi, honey. How are you?

- Good.

- Good to see you, sweetheart.

- Thank you. Nice to see you.

- What kind of airplane do you usually fly?

- Usually a 172.

Although the last time,

I was flying in a Cherokee.

So it doesnt really matter. Im used to a

Piper from the days of my three Comanches.

- Youre the Comanche girl. I remember.

- Yeah. Low-wing Comanches.

Ive been very lucky, and Ive been able

to fly some Stearmans about once a month.

- Oh, good.

- Thats great.

Thats the airplane that I owned

when I was 20 years old out in California.

I was a very, very curious kid.

My first ride in an airplane

was at nine years of age.

And it was wonderful.

The freedom, the smell of the exhaust,

the air going over my hair.

It was me. It was part of me.

I had those wings on too.

I grew up in Minnesota.

Every day, Id see this airplane

flying overhead,

and I thought," I could do that too."

My parents didnt like that idea.

People didnt think

it was for women at all, flying.

But I knew better,

and I liked it and I did it.

I think your first solo is,

in all your flying experiences,

you feel is your greatest accomplishment.

It was the thrill of going up

and being free up there.

And youd look down

and you could get a proper perspective.

I always was very positive

about always willing to learn

something new and have a new adventure.

There was a barnstormer coming into Flint,

and they were advertising rides.

B said that, from the moment she got in

that plane and took off and looked down,

she said, "This is it.

This is what Im meant for."

This is Janeys official wedding picture.

My mother was a very well-off child

who took advantage of that

to pursue the dreams that she always held.

Seventeen. Youre right.

My first experience of flight, um,

was when I was very young.

Mother was the pilot.

And off we go, into the sky.

And Mothers very delighted

to just show her little girl

this is what you could do.

So were going higher

and higher and higher

and closer and closer to the clouds.

Im becoming a bit alarmed

because, in my mind,

these clouds are solid

and were going to crash into them,

and my mother is going to kill us.

As we get closer and closer, I said,

"Why are we going so close to the clouds?

Were gonna hit them."

And she just... She truly laughed

and said, you know, Watch this.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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