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Why It Wasn't a Small Step for Women

Women are lighter and thus cost less than men to transport to space, they’re less prone to heart attacks, and they do better in isolation tests, reasoned Randy Lovelace when he founded the Women In Space Earliest program in 1959 to test women for their “qualifications as astronauts,” as this Wired article reports. Female astronaut candidates in the program outscored men in several areas, including sensory deprivation tests, where women beat what was once thought of as the six-hour limit of tolerance by four hours. So why were there no females on Apollo 11? NASA officials were concerned, among other things, about women’s inexperience flying experimental military aircraft (due to being barred from the Air Force) and also about menstruation. [%comments]