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Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (2009)

by Tanya Lee Stone

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70717028,352 (4.11)9
What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape, any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. Almost Astronauts is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
An interesting and informative account of women's efforts to shatter existing norms and enter into highly non-traditional occupations in aeronautics. The struggle of these 13 women reflects the struggle of all those who have dreams out of sync with the age in which they live.
  BLTSbraille | Aug 31, 2021 |
This passionate account of the e orts of 13 women, accomplished pilots all, to gain admission into NASA’s astronaut training program in the 1960s, details the gender prejudice that derailed their journeys.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
This book is a history book about science and those are some of my favorite types of books. This book is about the 13 women who successfully completed the fitness test to become astronauts. This had never been done before, and was a huge step for women in this field. I would recommend this book to any child who is interested in history and space! ( )
  Shelby_Walker | Apr 30, 2021 |
This informational text shares numerous stories and facts about space and what it takes to go to space. It also surrounds the theme of women who proved that they are capable of what they put their minds to. This would be a great book for students to learn more about space, preparation for space, history, science, and women empowerment. This book is quite text-heavy, which would be more fitting for upper elementary to middle school students. It would also be a great book to put "in the basket" for students to read in their free time. This book is over 70 pages (a total of 144 pages). ( )
  sobiec | Apr 22, 2021 |
Almost Astronauts is by turns inspiring and enraging. It is the story of 13 women pilots who were selected, in 1961, to undergo the same (and in some cases, more stringent) harrowing physical and psychological testing that the seven Mercury astronauts underwent, and who passed these tests with flying colors. The project was the brainchild of Randolph Lovelace, the NASA doctor who tested the Mercury Seven. He wanted to know: with their lighter body mass and lower oxygen requirements, would women be more cost-effective astronauts than men? But by embarking on a scientific program to answer this question, he and the 13 women astronaut candidates plunged into the 1960s' swirling maelstrom of prejudice and politics. Of course, those 13 women never made it to space, and it was not until 1999 that 8 of the surviving 11 were able to witness the first American space launch to be piloted by a woman. The second half of the book details the tumultuous social changes in both the public and military spheres that were necessary before women could be admitted to the inner core of America's space program, first as mission specialists and later as shuttle pilots. Although this story is often frustrating, the book is no feminist rant against past injustice. Instead, the reader is left with admiration for how brave, how resourceful, how strong, how capable these thirteen women were; how they competed on a very unequal playing field to achieve thousands of hours in the air as civilian pilots; and, once they were finally admitted into a program where they were tested no differently from the men, they rose to the challenge and demonstrated that they, too, had the legendary Right Stuff. They may never have made it to space, but because of their courageous struggle, later generations succeeded. The 13 were Myrtle Cagle, Jerrie Cobb, Janet Dietrich, Marion Dietrich, Wally Funk, Sarah Gorelick, Jane "Janey" Briggs Hart, Jean Hixson, Rhea Woltman, Gene Nora Stumbough, Irene Leverton, Jerri Sloan, and Bernice Steadman. ( )
  elakdawalla | Dec 10, 2020 |
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A note about "Mercury 13"

The "Mercury 13" is actually a misnomer, as these thirteen women were never part of the Mercury space program. But because they went through many of the same tests that the Mercury astronauts did, the "Mercury 13" has become the nickname most often associated with the women in this story.
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For the extraordinary women in my family - beginning with Bessie, Sarah, Leah, and Dorothy - all the way to Laurie, Sarah, Leah, and Liza
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July 1999

One woman stands alone, off to the side of the crowd.
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What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape, any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules. Almost Astronauts is the story of thirteen true pioneers of the space age.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763636118, 0763645028

 

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