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Mercury 13

These thirteen women underwent the same physical and psychological tests as their male counterparts. All completed two phases of testing before testing was suspended in July of 1961. Jerrie Cobb completed three phases of testing.

There had originally been 25 candidates for testing. This was reduced to these 13. Since testing was never completed, no actual training was ever performed.

R.Woltman  Rhea Hurrle Allison Woltman (nee Hurrle), b. 1928, Fair Haven, Minnesota

M.Cagle  Myrtle K. Thompson Cagle, b. 3 June 1925, North Carolina

G.Cobb  Geraldyn "Jerrie" M. Cobb, b. 5 March 1931, Norman, Oklahoma

J.Dietrich  Jan Dietrich, b. 1926, San Francisco, California (d. 5 June 2008)(twin sister to Marion)

M.Dietrich  Marion Dietrich, b. 1926, San Francisco, California (d. 1 December 1974) (twin sister to Jan)

W.Funk  Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk II, b. 31 January 1939, Taos, New Mexico

S.Ratley  Sarah Lee Ratley Gorlick (nee Ratley), b. 1931, Kansas City, Kansas

J.Hart  Jane "Janey" Briggs Hart, b. 20 October 1921, Midland, Michigan, (d. 5 June 2015)

J.Hixon  Jean Hixon, b. 1921, Hoopeston, Illinois (d. 1984)

I.Leverton  Irene Leverton, b. 3 March 1927, Chicago, Illinois (d. 6 July 2007)

J.Sloan  Geraldine "Jerri" Sloan Truhill, b. 12 November 1928, Texas (d. 18 November 2013)

B.Steadman  Bernice "Bea" Trimble Steadman, b. 9 July 1925, Rudyard, Michigan(d. 18 March 2015)

N.Jessen  Gene Nora Jessen (nee Stumbough), b. 10 January 1937, Springfield, Illinois

flat1995.jpg (307953 bytes) Exuberant and thrilled to be at the Kennedy Space Center, seven women who once aspired to fly into space stand outside Launch Pad 39B near the Space Shuttle Discovery, poised for liftoff on the first flight of 1995. They are members of the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, who helped pave the way for the milestone Eileen Collins set: becoming the first female Shuttle pilot. Visiting the space center as invited guests of STS-63 Pilot Eileen Collins are (from left): Gene Nora Jessen, Wally Funk, Jerrie Cobb, Jerri Truhill, Sarah Ratley, Myrtle Cagle and Bernice Steadman. (click to enlarge)

cobb.jpg (176682 bytes) Jerrie Cobb testing the Gimbal Rig in the Altitude Wind Tunnel, April 1960. (click to enlarge)

To learn more about these unsung heroes:
Visit Mercury 13 - the Women of the Mercury Era.
Read The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight.

Back to Astronaut Groups


Page last modified: 21 August 2017 18:39:07.