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The Final Frontier Or The Glass Ceiling: The Legacy Of Women In NASA

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As the men of Apollo 11 returned home to ticker tape parades, the women who made their journey possible worked quietly behind the scenes. Since its founding in 1958, NASA has been heavily reliant on the skills of such women, many of whom have gone unrecognized for their bravery and hard work.

From the largely forgotten "Rocket Girls" of the 1940s and '50s to the Mercury 13 members who came after, women have been making large strides in the industry despite getting little recognition. But now, thanks to recent books by Nathalia Holt and Martha Ackmann, these women of NASA are finally getting the attention they deserve. 

This hour, we speak with both authors and a former astronaut candidate about the long overlooked legacy of women  in NASA.

This show is the tenth part of a new experiment: Radio for the Deaf. Watch a simulcast of signers from Source Interpreting interpreting our radio broadcast in American Sign Language on Facebook Live.


  • Nathalia Holt- Microbiologist, science writer and author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us From Missiles to the Moon to Mars
  • Martha Ackmann- Journalist, author and editor who writes about women who have changed America; author of The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of 13 American Women and the Dream of Spaceflight
  • Wally Funk- American aviator with over 19,000 flight hours and a former member of the Mercury 13 Program

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan, Jonathan McNicol, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on August 16, 2016.

Josh was a producer for WNPR's talk shows. He has produced for Where We Live and was a producer for The Colin McEnroe Show until 2020.

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