Airdate: Mercury 13

Netflix will screen a one-off documentary Mercury 13, about 13 women who tested successfully for a 1961 spaceflight but were overlooked for the mission.

Mercury 13 is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 before their dreams were dashed in being the first to make the trip beyond Earth. NASA’s ‘man in space’ program, dubbed ‘Project Mercury’ began in 1958. The men chosen – all military test pilots – became known as The Mercury 7. But away from the glare of the media, behind firmly closed doors, female pilots were also screened. Thirteen of them passed and, in some cases, performed better than the men. They were called the Mercury 13 and had the ‘right stuff’ but were, unfortunately, the wrong gender. Underneath the obsession of the space race that gripped America, the Mercury 13 women were aviation pioneers who emerged thirsty for a new frontier, but whose time would have to wait. The film tells the definitive story of thirteen truly remarkable women who reached for the stars but were ahead of their time. A Netflix original documentary directed by David Sington (The Fear of 13) and Heather Walsh.

Friday April 20 on Netflix.


  1. “Hidden Figures” with Kevin Costner etc. is a great movie on this. NASA hq didn’t have any women’s toilets in the beginning. Only men’s.

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