Barred from Heaven

In 1961 a group of women were recruited to go into space. The Mercury 13 tells why they never got there

In mid-January 1961, a handful of women began arriving by twos and threes at the tatty Bird of Paradise Motel in Albuquerque, N.M., for an unusual series of medical tests. The women were all pilots, drawn from groups like the Ninety-Nines (the female pilots' organization founded by Amelia Earhart) and the W.A.S.P.s (Women's Air Force Service Pilots) as well as the women's air-racing circuit, the Powder Puff Derby. The tests were to assess their fitness as potential astronauts. The remarkable story of how these women got to the Bird of Paradise Motel and what happened to them afterward is documented in...

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