America’s first woman astronaut candidate dead at 88



America’s first feminine astronaut candidate who pushed for ladies in house however by no means reached its heights has died, studies mentioned.

Pilot Jerrie Cobb died in Florida on March 18 following a quick sickness. She was 88.

Information of her demise got here Thursday from journalist Miles O’Brien, serving as a household spokesman.

In 1961, Cobb turned the primary girl to cross the grueling astronaut testing. Altogether, 13 ladies handed the arduous bodily testing and have become referred to as the Mercury 13. However NASA already had its Mercury 7 astronauts, all jet take a look at pilots and all navy males.

“I’d give my life to fly in house, I actually would. It’s arduous for me to speak about it, however I’d. I’d then, and I’ll now.”

Not one of the Mercury 13 ever reached house, regardless of Cobb’s testimony in 1962 earlier than a Congressional panel.

“We search, solely, a spot in our nation’s house future with out discrimination,” she advised a particular Home subcommittee on the collection of astronauts.

The Mercury 13′s story is advised in a latest Netflix documentary and a play based mostly on Cobb’s life, “They Promised Her the Moon,” is at the moment working in San Diego.

In this 1960 photo made available by NASA, Jerrie Cobb prepares to operate the Multi-Axis Space Test Inertia Facility (MASTIF) at the Lewis Research Center in Ohio. (NASA via AP)

On this 1960 picture made obtainable by NASA, Jerrie Cobb prepares to function the Multi-Axis Area Check Inertia Facility (MASTIF) on the Lewis Analysis Heart in Ohio. (NASA by way of AP)

Geraldyn Cobb was born on March 5, 1931, in Norman, Oklahoma, the second daughter of a navy pilot and his spouse. She flew her father’s open cockpit Waco biplane at age 12 and received her personal pilot’s license 4 years later.

As an alternative of constructing her an astronaut, NASA tapped her as a marketing consultant to speak up the house program. She was dismissed one week after commenting: “I’m probably the most unconsulted marketing consultant in any authorities company.”

She wrote in her 1997 autobiography “Jerrie Cobb, Solo Pilot,” ″My nation, my tradition, was not prepared to permit a lady to fly in house.”

Cobb served for many years as a humanitarian help pilot within the Amazon jungle.

The Soviet Union ended up placing the primary girl into house in 1963: Valentina Tereshkova. NASA didn’t fly a lady in house — Sally Journey — till 1983.

Cobb and different surviving members of the Mercury 13 attended the 1995 shuttle launch of Eileen Collins, NASA’s first feminine house pilot and later its first feminine house commander.

Nonetheless hopeful, Cobb emerged in 1998 to make one other pitch for house as NASA ready to launch Mercury astronaut John Glenn — the primary American to orbit the world — on shuttle Discovery at age 77.

Cobb maintained that the geriatric house research must also embrace an older girl.


“I’d give my life to fly in house, I actually would,” Cobb advised The Related Press at age 67 in 1998. “It’s arduous for me to speak about it, however I’d. I’d then, and I’ll now.”

“It simply didn’t work out then, and I simply hope and pray it’ll now,” she added.

It didn’t. NASA by no means flew one other aged particular person in house, male or feminine.

The Related Press contributed to this report.


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