Trailblazing Space Pioneers: The Mercury 13

An amazing discovery…

Stardust and Steel

Working at a library, I often come across some incredible books. I came across this book recently:

almost astronauts

“Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream” by Tanya Lee Stone

As a woman and as a space geek, I was amazed that I had never heard of these women. I of course had to check out the book and read about these amazing trailblazers of the early space industry.

It all started in the thick of the space race, and the Mercury 7, (Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, and Gordon Cooper) were chosen to pioneer the US adventures in space. Dr. Randy Lovelace II was the head of NASA’s Special Committee of Bioastronautics, and was a bit of a forward-thinker for his time. He believed that women should be considered for astronaut candidacy. At the time, women could not get bank loans, could not play professional…

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A day of science awesomeness and religious foolishness

At about the time the robotic Mars Rover, Curiosity was undertaking or completing one of the most complicated landing manoeuvres for a space mission, 5 Pakistani militants from the banned Lashkar-e-Islam group were being blown up by the bomb they were planting on the roadside near the border of Afghanistan.

Here are some thoughts about these two events:

  1. Both events played out on barren landscapes; one of them is inhabited by at least some intelligent life forms.
  2. Both were magnificent feats of science and engineering; one of them was for a truly higher cause.
  3. Both of them were inspired events; one was inspired by the yearning for true knowledge.
  4. Both events will leave you laughing; one in joy and the other in derision.
  5. Bothe events will lead to acts of discovery; one to perhaps signs of life before death and the other perhaps to signs of life after death. Guess which one’s odds are greater.


Here is a video of man celebrating the achievement of science awesomeness:


At this time there’s no video of man celebrating the achievement of lunacy. If and when they find all the body parts and bother to make a video, I’ll be sure to post it, but don’t hold your breath.