Meet the Rogue Women Astronauts of the 1960s Who Never Flew

But they passed the same tests the male astronauts did—and, yes, in high heels

By Kat Eschner

smithsonian.com
June 16, 2017

Valentina Tereshkova was the first-ever woman to fly a spacecraft, on June 16, 1963. But even before Tereshkova took off, the United States was researching–and discarding–the idea of sending women into space, for reasons that had nothing to do with their abilities. It would take another twenty years before Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

This is the story of the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, an elite group of women pilots who underwent astronaut testing and seemed like they might be on track to become astronauts in the early 1960s.  The best remembered of these women is probably Jerrie Cobb, a record-setting aviator. Even though Cobb and twelve others did extremely well in the astronaut tests, none of them went to space and the program they were part of was killed, speaking to the unwarranted sexism of the early American space program.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/meet-american-women-who-trained-space-1960s-180963704/#XV1PGTHP9uxPmj5r.99