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NASA: No Plans for Woman in Space

June 16, 1963 - The United States has no plans for putting a woman in space, an official said today. A spokesman for NASA said there “nothing in the criteria” for selecting the next group of astronauts that would include women. O.B. Lloyd Jr., the NASA spokesman, termed the prospect of women astronauts “way down the road” in the future. He declined to comment on the launching of Junior Lieut. Valentina Tereshkova (pictured today before takeoff) to join Lieut. Col. Valery F. Bykovsky in space. Col. Bykovsky has been in orbit since Friday. “Women drive cars, they fly planes, and do other things,” said Mr. Lloyd, “but right now there isn’t any woman in the program.” The commander of the U.S. Missile Test Center at Cape Canaveral, Lieut. Gen. Leighton I. Davis, said: “At the risk of drawing the ire of the feminine people, I think this is merely a publicity stunt.” Several prominent women fliers, including Jerri Cobb of Oklahoma (left) and Mrs. Philip Hart (right), wife of the Michigan Democratic Senator, have protested NASA’s unwillingness to include women in the space program. Miss Cobb, who was in Washington last summer for a Congressional hearing headed by Rep. Victor Anfuso (D-N.Y.) on the possibility of women in space, complained that NASA was discriminating against women. She said then that the Russians were preparing to put a woman in orbit. She was appointed a consultant to the agency in 1960, she said today, but “I’m the most unconsulted consultant in any Government agency. It’s a shame that since we are eventually going to put a woman into space, we didn’t go ahead and do it first.” Miss Cobb, 32, has been flying since her teens. She holds several speed and distance records. She now does sales promotion for an aircraft manufacturer in Oklahoma City.

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