Amazon is developing a Mercury 13 miniseries from Bradley Whitford and Amy Pascal
Amazon Studios is developing a miniseries called Mercury 13, based on Martha Ackmann’s book The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight, according to Deadline. The event miniseries comes from Bradley Whitford, Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures and Tim and Trevor White’s Star Thrower Entertainment. Liz Hannah (The Post) will write Mercury 13 and serve as showrunner and executive producer. Pascal will executive produce with the Whites, Whitford and manager Adena Chawke from Greenlight Management, with Allan Mandelbaum co-executive producing with consulting producer P.J. Roth.
The story is set in 1961 and tells the story of a group of women who underwent secret testing to become the first American female astronauts. Though they passed their tests at the Lovelace Foundation, NASA and Capitol Hill never let them progress.
Here is the Amazon description of the book: “In 1961, just as NASA launched its first man into space, a group of women underwent secret testing in the hopes of becoming America’s first female astronauts. They passed the same battery of tests at the legendary Lovelace Foundation as did the Mercury 7 astronauts, but they were summarily dismissed by the boys’ club at NASA and on Capitol Hill. The USSR sent its first woman into space in 1963; the United States did not follow suit for another twenty years.
“For the first time, Martha Ackmann tells the story of the dramatic events surrounding these thirteen remarkable women, all crackerjack pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in America’s space race against the Soviet Union. In addition to talking extensively to these women, Ackmann interviewed Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and others at NASA and in the White House with firsthand knowledge of the program, and includes here never-before-seen photographs of the Mercury 13 passing their Lovelace tests.
“Despite the crushing disappointment of watching their dreams being derailed, the Mercury 13 went on to extraordinary achievement in their lives: Jerrie Cobb, who began flying when she was so small she had to sit on pillows to see out of the cockpit, dedicated her life to flying solo missions to the Amazon rain forest; Wally Funk, who talked her way into the Lovelace trials, went on to become one of the first female FAA investigators; Janey Hart, mother of eight and, at age forty, the oldest astronaut candidate, had the political savvy to steer the women through congressional hearings and later helped found the National Organization for Women.”
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