Almost Astronauts, by Tanya Lee Stone

A book about sexism and astronauts? Count me in!

Stone presents a narrative look at the 13 women who, in the 1960s, underwent the various astronaut tests taken by the Mercury 7 astronauts as part of an experiment to determine if women could be astronauts. She details the rigors of the tests and the determination of the women to pass them all – and the intense discrimination faced by the women at every turn. Using pictures from the women’s tests and other primary sources, including a letter on which Vice President Lyndon Johnson wrote that the push toward women in the astronaut program should be stopped, Stone makes a strong case for the courage and tenacity of these 13 women and pushes for women today to have the same qualities.

I had never heard of the “Mercury 13” and so learned a lot from this little book. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to be an astronaut (so, like, every child ever).

Rating: 8/10
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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