Amy Shira Teitel – Fighting For Space
The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Interview Series
Welcome to The Not Old Better Show. I’m Paul Vogelzang. As part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story Series, our guest today is Amy Shira Teitel.
Amy Shira Teitel will be presenting at the Smithsonian Associates program on May 26, 2021, and the title of Amy Shira Teitel’s Zoom presentation is Fighting for Space: Pilots Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb
Amy Shira Teitel has had a lifelong passion for spaceflight; she specialized in space history throughout her academic life, culminating in her MA thesis about the little-known Gemini-Rogallo wing
When the space age dawned in the late 1950s, Jackie Cochran held more propeller and jet flying records than any pilot of the 20th century—man or woman. She had led the Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots during WWII, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, ran her own luxury cosmetics company, and counted multiple presidents among her friends. She was more qualified than any woman in the world to make the leap from the atmosphere to orbit. Yet it was Jerrie Cobb, 25 years Cochran’s junior and a record-holding pilot in her own right, who finagled her way into taking the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts. The prospect of flying in space quickly became her obsession.
As the American and international media fell in love with the idea of a nonexistent “woman astronaut” program, Cochran and Cobb struggled to gain control of the narrative, each hoping to turn the rumored program into their own ideal reality—an issue that ultimately went all the way to Congress.
Drawing on her new book Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight, space historian and television host Amy Shira Teitel tells the fascinating story of these trailblazers who spent years as adversaries in search of the same goal: creating a place for women in the male-dominated arena of aviation and space flight.
Please join me in welcoming to The Not Old Better Show via internet phone, Smithsonian Associate, Amy Shira Teitel.
My thanks to Amy Shira Teitel, who will be presenting at the Smithsonian Associates program May 26, 2021, and the title of Amy Shira Teitel’s Zoom presentation is Fighting for Space: Pilots Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb. More details on Amy Shira Teitel’s presentation are available in today’s show notes. Also, my thanks to the Smithsonian Associates team for all they do to support the show. My special thanks to you, my wonderful Not Old Better Show audience. Please be safe, practice smart social distancing, get the vaccine, and Talk About Better. The Not Old Better Show. Thanks, everybody.
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