Winged Victory

"All those who see me, and all who believe in me, share in the freedom I feel when I fly."

Book Brief-ings by Julie Welch

Promised the Moon: The Untold Stories of the First Women in the Space Race
Stephanie Nolen
Thunder's Mouth Press
There was a strong group of thirteen women present during the famous U.S. space race era, hoping to make an impact for the world. While Neil Armstrong was making headlines, these important female figures were behind the scenes. They were head of there time, and never made it into space, but their contributions to aviation and to the space program were tremendous nevertheless.

Stephanie Nolen provides one of the first detailed accounts of these thirteen women. A reporter for The Globe and Mail, her journalistic style and strong interviewing skills are present throughout this work. The 305 pages focus on these original American women pilots training to become astronauts in the 1960s and photographs she included also help readers to put a face to each of their names.

Jerrie Cobb is perhaps the most famous today (in aviation circles) of the profiled women. Jerrie?s love for the sky is captured in her quote "In the sky (even more than church) I had come to know that there is a God who designed the Universe." A pilot and instructor in Duncan, she blazed the way for women pilots of the time. She flew in the 1935 International Women?s Air Race, coming in 4th and publicized all over the U.S. media. Her career continued with milestone after milestone including the designation in 1958, as Woman of the Year in aviation.

In 1960, NASA?s doors opened for her, allowing her passion for aviation to unite with her interest in space. Headlines flew nationwide about the prospect of a woman in space, to the dismay of the not yet ready NASA for a woman to take space flight. She was one of the thirteen candidates eligible and chosen for NASA?s women-in-space program.

The complete Mercury 13:
Myrtle Cagle
Jerrie Cobb
Jan Dietrich
Marion Dietrich
Wally Funk
Janey Hart
Jean Hixson
Gene Nora Stumbough
Irene Leverton
Bernice Steadman
Sarah Ratley
Jerri Truhill
Rhea Woltman

The author accounts for each of these women?s lives, awards and contributions to the space trainee program. Although these women never made a space flight, their contributions were valuable to those men who made it into space and are important pieces of U.S. space exploration history.

The Table of contents:

Unlimited Visibility
Jackie?s Girls
In the Cockpit
Instant Heroes
Unit One, Female
"I?ve got to fly"
Normal Women
Fellow Lady Astronaut Trainees
Our Rightful Place
"Let?s Stop This Now"

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All illustrations retain original copyright.
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