Blue Origin will fly female aviator Wally Funk, one of the Mercury 13, on 1st crewed launch

Dec 21, 2019
"Funk was one of 13 female aviators... who, in 1961, passed all the exams necessary for admission to NASA's astronaut corps..."

Congratulations to Wally on her upcoming flight, but let's not go overboard exaggerating the qualifications she and the other women had, in some pinheaded "woke" attempt at displaying what a den of misogynistic Neanderthals NASA was in 1961.

Yes, these women passed some of the same medical tests that the Mercury candidates underwent (though only one, Jerrie Cobb, passed all three phases of the medical tests) but there was a lot more to the qualifications for the early astronauts than being able to physically survive the expected rigors of space flight. One key qualification that NONE of them had was experience as a test pilot in high performance jet aircraft. (Cobb, arguably the most experienced aviator among the 13, had never even flown a jet.)

Experience handling a novel craft in unexpected circumstances was a legitimate qualification for sending pilots into the unfamiliar environment of space. It was not a matter of sexual discrimination on the part of NASA that there was no way for a woman to BE qualified. Maybe the U.S. military should have allowed women to fly in combat and work as military test pilots in the late '40s and early '50s, so that by 1959 when NASA started assembling its pool of astronaut candidates there might have been some women who were qualified. But to imply that the so-called "Mercury 13" were as qualified as the Mercury astronauts is laughably revisionist history.
From here:
"All of the women successfully completed the first phase, and three of the women also completed the second phase. Jerrie Cobb was the only woman to officially finish all three phases, and she scored in the top 2% of all candidates of any gender, outperforming some of the Mercury 7 astronauts. Unfortunately, the FLATs program was canceled in 1962 before many of the women even had the chance to attempt all of the tests."

As much as I admire fighter jocks, their is no proof Jerrie wouldn't have done as well or better. If there is evidence the flight simulators were inadequate, I would like to see it. If they are inadequate, why did the jocks do so poorly relative to her score?

Other women weren't given the chance to complete all three phases due to cancelation.

Given the intensity of the Cold War and the need to catch-up to the USSR (a minimum goal before getting ahead of them), it was logical to take the fast track and proven performances of those brave survivors known as test pilots. They don't deserve any finger-pointing, regardless of foibles.
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