Mercury 13

Watch Mercury 13

"Meet the women who dared to reach for the stars."
  • TV-PG
  • 2018
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 7.0  (1,273)
  • 82

Mercury 13 is a fascinating documentary that explores the untold story of thirteen remarkable women who were part of a secret program in the early 1960s, owned and funded by William Randolph Lovelace II. The program aimed to test whether women could endure the rigors of space travel, and put them through a series of rigorous physical and psychological screening tests that were even tougher than what male astronauts endured. Dubbed the "Mercury 13," these women were put through a series of training sessions that included tests of their stamina, endurance, mental fortitude, and their ability to work as a team in high-pressure situations.

The documentary is well researched, and features a mix of rare archival footage, photos, and interviews with the surviving members of the Mercury 13 program, as well as their families, friends, and supporters. Directed by David Sington and Mark Craig, the film provides an intimate look at the experiences of these women, and how they built camaraderie and a sense of purpose, despite facing significant obstacles.

The documentary begins by providing some background on the early days of the US space program, and how it was dominated by a culture of machismo and sexism. It then introduces us to the Mercury 13, including Jerrie Cobb, who was the first woman to undergo the program's rigorous training regimen, and who excelled in every part of it. Other women who went through the program were equally skilled, and they were encouraged by Lovelace to keep pushing themselves further. However, despite their talent and drive, their dreams of becoming astronauts were thwarted by bureaucratic obstacles, government hostility, and a lack of support from NASA.

Throughout the documentary, we see the Mercury 13 women fighting for their right to be considered for space travel, speaking out against gender-based discrimination, and lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would give them a chance to prove their worth. The film also delves into the personal lives of these women, and how their participation in the program affected their families, relationships, and careers.

One standout feature of Mercury 13 is the interviews with some of the key players in the space industry at the time, including former astronauts, NASA officials, and political leaders. These interviews provide valuable context and insight into the broader cultural and political landscape of the 1960s, and help us understand the challenges that the Mercury 13 faced. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton also appear in the documentary as key supporters of the Mercury 13, giving voice to the persistent fight these women had in order to change the world's view about women's capabilities.

Overall, Mercury 13 is an excellent documentary that sheds light on a topic that has been overlooked for far too long. Through its compelling mix of archival footage and interviews, it provides a rich and multi-dimensional portrait of the Mercury 13 women, their struggles, and their legacy. While the documentary is frequently heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time, it is a testament to the resilience and determination of these women who paved the way for future generations of female astronauts.

Mercury 13 is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 82.

Mercury 13
Where to Watch Mercury 13
Mercury 13 is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Netflix. Some platforms allow you to rent Mercury 13 for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,273)
  • Metascore