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Rocket Girl - part 1

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Uploaded on Dec 1, 2006

In the early 60s, there was a top-secret government program at NASA that was testing female airplane pilots to become astronauts. Jerri Truhill was one of these women. Several years ago, I received a small grant to produce a documentary about women at NASA. I contacted NASA about setting up a few interviews with women that were involved in a variety of capacities: astronauts, engineers, scientists, etc and the PR person was very receptive. They even sent me requested space and training footage to include in the project. However, they eventually asked to see my interview questions ahead of time, and once they saw a few questions relating to gender bias or discrimination, scheduling interviews suddenly became more difficult. (Even after I explained that my intent was not show a biased slant- I was just interested in the history of women at NASA) After several months of repeated attempts, they eventually quit returning my calls and emails!
During my research, I ran across a newspaper story about Ms Truhill - I thought it was an amazing story and then discovered that she was actually still alive and residing not far from me in Dallas TX.
She is quite a spirited character- very opinionated about what she and other women went through. Once I shot that single interview, I knew she could be my entire story- so I dropped my original plan and just went with her experiences. Through youtube exposure, this project t has been used in several educational settings over the years, so at least it is finally reaching an audience- I think her story, and the experiences of the Mercury 13 definately need to be told!

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