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OCTOBER 28, 1998   4:45 PM
National Organization for Women
Loretta Kane, 202-331-0066 x762
NOW Launches Campaign To Send Jerrie Cobb Into Space
WASHINGTON - October 28 - "As Senator Glenn lifts-off from the Kennedy Space Center, NOW is launching a campaign in support of Jerrie Cobb's quest to be an astronaut," NOW President Patricia  Ireland announced.  "Jerrie Cobb has prepared her whole lifetime for a journey into space.  It is time for NASA to put Jerrie where she belongs – in space and in the history books as an example for women and men, girls and boys," Ireland said.

NOW kicked-off its campaign with a petition drive aimed at pressuring NASA to allow the veteran pilot to participate in the studies on space and aging.

Cobb, a 67-year-old aviator with more than 35 years of experience, began training for the space program in 1960.  At that time, she had logged over 10,000 hours of flight time, twice much as any of the other trainees, including John Glenn.  Nonetheless, she was denied the opportunity to fly because NASA deemed women unsuitable for space travel.

During the nearly four decades since she was booted from the space program, Cobb has dedicated herself to a career of flying humanitarian aid to people in remote areas of the Amazon.  She is well-respected and highly decorated for her work, including a 1981 Nobel Peace Prize.  In addition to her humanitarian work, Cobb has been a flight instructor and has delivered military fighter planes to air bases around the world.  She has flown over 55,000 miles during her impressive career.

"Sexism was the only thing that kept Jerrie Cobb out of space in the 60s.  And it cannot be allowed to stand in her way now.  If NASA wants to study the effects of space travel on aging, then it is imperative to make these studies on women.  After all, women are the majority of the elderly," Ireland concluded.





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