Mercury 13

by Anita Sullivan
Jerrie Cobb Mercury 13


In 1961 thirteen women passed NASA's physical astronaut selection tests. Jerrie Cobb and Wally Funk also passed the psychological and stress tests, equivalent to the Mercury 7 men. The play tells their story.

The drama includes a new interview with Wally Funk, who now in her 70's hopes to finally get to space on Virgin Galactic or SpaceX.

Starring Samantha Dakin, Laurel Lefkow, William Hope, Morgan Deare and Claire Inie-Richards.

Produced and directed by Kate McAll

Duration: 44 minutes.


Music: ‘That’s What Girls are Made For’, The Spinners.

NARRATOR -In the early 1960’s, the world was changing. Sputnik’s orbit had started the space-race. Mankind was preparing to take one giant leap... but women were left a step behind.

This is the story of 13 women pilots who passed NASA’s physical tests for astronauts in 1961. These women knew what they were made for... and were driven to prove it.

[Music ends]

WALLY INTERVIEW -I was born and raised in Taos New Mexico, in the high mountains of 7,000 feet... and as I saw the clouds parting over that Taos mountain, that gave me the want to learn to fly.

NARRATOR -Wally Funk was the youngest of the thirteen.

WALLY INTERVIEW -That spirit of that mountain gave me the knowledge and the knowhow and the feeling within myself that I could do anything in the world I wanted to do.

NARRATOR -But it was Jerrie Cobb who began it.

JERRIE -For everything on this earth there are beginnings and endings.

NARRATOR -Jerrie was the first of the thirteen to be tested.

JERRIE -Only two things are infinite: God and the sky. Those of us who know the sky... have an urge to infinity.

NARRATOR -Jerrie Cobb and Wally Funk were the only women to take all three phases of the astronaut tests. The same demanding tests NASA used to select male astronauts... the Mercury 7.

But every great journey begins with one small step. A footprint in the sand. In this case... Miami beach.


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