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Jerrie Cobb Poses beside Mercury Capsule

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Jerrie Cobb Poses beside Mercury Capsule

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Jerrie Cobb poses next to a Mercury spaceship capsule. Although she never flew in space, Cobb, along with twenty-four other women, underwent physical tests similar to those taken by the Mercury astronauts with the belief that she might become an astronaut trainee. All the women who participated in the program, known as First Lady Astronaut Trainees, were skilled pilots. Dr. Randy Lovelace, a NASA scientist who had conducted the official Mercury program physicals, administered the tests at his private clinic without official NASA sanction. Cobb passed all the training exercises, ranking in the top 2% of all astronaut candidates of both genders. ..While she was sworn in as a consultant to Administrator James Webb on the issue of women in space, mounting political pressure and internal opposition lead NASA to restrict its official astronaut training program to men despite campaigning by the thirteen finalists of the FLAT program. After three years, Cobb left NASA for the jungles of the Amazon, where she has spent four decades as a solo pilot delivering food, medicine, and other aid to the indigenous people. She has received the Amelia Earhart Medal, the Harmon Trophy, the Pioneer Woman Award, the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award, and many other decorations for her tireless years of humanitarian service. ..Image # : UNKNOWN2

NASA Photo Collection

Élisabeth Thible flew above Lyon, France in 1784. Jeanne Labrosse became the first woman to parachute. Sophie Blanchard took her first balloon flight in 1804, and was made Napoleon's chief of air service in 1811. In 1903, Aida de Acosta, an American woman vacationing in Paris piloted airship, becoming the first known woman to pilot a motorized aircraft. Katharine Wright flew the Wright Model A. Emma Lilian Todd designed her own airplanes. Her first plane flew in 1910. Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick became the first woman to jump from an aircraft in 1913. Raymonde de Laroche, was the world's first licensed female pilot. Seven other French women followed her in 1901-1902. Blanche Scott claimed to be the first American woman to fly an airplane and established herself as a daredevil pilot. Bessica Raiche recognized as the first American woman to make a solo flight. Harriet Quimby became the USA's first licensed female pilot on August 1, 1911 and the first woman to cross the English Channel by airplane the following year. Lidia Zvereva, the first female Russian license performed her first aerobatic loop in 1914. In 1913, Lyubov Golanchikova signed a contract to become the first female test pilot to test "Farman-22" manufactured in Russia. In 1916, Zhang Xiahun (Chinese: 張俠魂) China's first female pilot crashed, becoming a national heroine when she survived. Katherine Stinson became the first woman air mail pilot, when the United States Postal Service. The following year, Ruth Law flew the first official U.S. air mail to the Philippines. In 1936, Hanna Reitsch of Germany became one of the first persons to fly a fully controllable helicopter and earned the first woman helicopter pilot's license. In 1937 Sabiha Gökçen of Turkey became the first trained woman combat pilot, participating in search operations and bombing flight. In 1943 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were flying new planes from factories to Army Air Force bases, worked as test pilots. In 1942 Soviet Union created an all-woman combat flight unit, the 588th Night-Bomber Air-Regiment or the Night Witches. They flew harassment and precision bombing missions and "dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders". The Soviets also had the only women to be considered flying aces like Lydia Litvyak and Yekaterina Budanova.

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1959
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NASA
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