Fine Structure

Women in Space, or the Mercury 13

Wired has a new article on an alternate 13 women astronauts that were put through medical and psychological evaluations similar to what the Mercury 7 were subjected to when being selected for the program. Their timing is nice since I'm a little more than halfway through Light This Candle, Alan Shepard's biography, which has spent quite a few pages on the Mercury program so far and Shepard isn't even in space yet.

Considering the times, I would wonder if the women were seriously being thought of as astronauts or if the tests were simply being done to please someone. Not that I don't think they could do the job - the tests found that the women excelled in some of the tests beyond the men - but there was such a culture of machismo in the Mercury program, it would be surprising. ]