Wally Funk's Race for Space by Sue Nelson

Published February 18, 2022

Wally Funk's Race for Space by Sue Nelson

Book info

  • Title Wally Funk's Race for Space
  • Author Sue Nelson
  • Year 2018
  • Genre Biography

In 1961, Wally Funk was the youngest of thirteen American female pilots in the Woman in Space programme. Her mission was to become one of the first women astronauts. But a combination of politics and prejudice meant the programme was abruptly cancelled. Neither Wally nor the other pilots ever made it into space. Now approaching eighty, Wally is joined by fellow space enthusiast Sue Nelson as she races to make her giant leap before it's too late. They travel across the United States and Europe - taking in NASA's mission control in Houston and Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Wally's ride into space awaits - meeting with female astronauts and trailblazers along the way. Touching on the Space Race and women's achievements in aviation, this is the remarkable story of a courageous pioneer who could have been the first woman in space.


This was a brilliant story of an incredible woman - Wally Funk who was part of the Mercury 13, a group of intrepid women who trained up in the same way as the men but never got to be the pioneers heading to the moon. Ever since then, her mission has been to get into space and she’s achieved it, although this book was written before the big event. This is all about the larger than life character that Wally is, written by a broadcaster who became her friend, and how although life wasn’t necessarily fair on her, she never stopped fighting for her dream. Amazing.

Rating: 4 / 5

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