Jerrie Cobb-the Astronaut Who Should Have Been

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With all the recent talk about the "senior citizen in space," there was little talk about the women who passed the tests to become astronauts in 1960 and then were never allowed in space. A woman who was particularly cheated was Jerrie Cobb, a woman who had logged over 10,000 hours as a pilot (compared to 2,500 for John Glenn at the same time) and who scored in the top 2% of all astronaut candidates on her tests. While she was briefly made a NASA consultant in the early '60s, she eventually left NASA completely and became a missionary pilot in Brazil for the next 35 years.

Jerrie Cobb has returned to America, to be honored as an outstanding woman pilot, but also to fight for "her turn" in space, even though it's almost 40 years overdue. If we're going to send old men like John Glenn and Orrin Hatch, the we also ought to be sending qualified older women too, to see what impact space travel has on them. Sometimes, it isn't too late to make amends for the blatant sexism of the past.