Attention! Tustin Hangar ResourceClick Here

California's 40th District

Jul 18, 2023 | In The News

Daily Local News

U.S. Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Young Kim (R-CA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) introduced the Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bill recognizes the contributions of the first group of women, known as Mercury 13, to successfully complete the first phases of astronaut testing before the training was unable to continue.

“Ever since I was a kid, Sally Ride has been an idol of mine. But we know glass ceilings are often cracked before they are shattered,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlahan. “Before Sally Ride became the first female astronaut, there were women before her to train and help prove that, yes, women were physically fit to go into space alongside their male counterparts. This bill recognizes those women, the Mercury 13, for their contributions to space exploration and the enduring human spirit to understand the universe. I’m enormously proud to lead this effort as the Women in STEM Caucus introduces its first bill.”

“The Mercury 13 were brave, talented women who rightfully earned their spots as the first female astronauts but were told they could not participate because of their gender. It’s past time we recognize their important role as trailblazers who paved the way for future generations of women in STEM,” said Rep. Young Kim. 

As co-chair of the Women in STEM Caucus, I’m proud to help lead this effort to honor these women and show girls today that the sky isn’t even the limit to what they can accomplish. I’ll keep fighting to protect the American dream, expand opportunities for students, and ensure that future generations of Americans know they can do anything they put their minds to.”

“The Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act recognizes the women who paved the way for other female astronauts to shatter the glass ceiling at NASA,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens. “Women have long been shut out of opportunities to make history. That is why it is so important to honor women who had doors slammed on them despite the overwhelming evidence proving those doors should have stayed open. The Mercury 13 Congressional Gold Medal Act is a tribute to this group of courageous women, and I am proud to join my Women in STEM Caucus Co-Chairs in introducing this legislation.”

“The American Space Race during the 20th Century gave hope and deep feelings of patriotism and pride to numerous men, women, and children around the country,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko. “I’m grateful to join my colleagues in the Bipartisan Women in STEM Caucus to honor the legacy of the women of the Mercury 13 program, who served our nation’s space program with distinction. May their memory live on and inspire countless young women to reach their dreams.”

All four Congresswomen are Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Women in STEM Caucus, and this bill represents the first piece of legislation introduced by the caucus in the 118th Congress. Reps. Houlahan, Lesko, and Stevens helped launch the Women in STEM Caucus in 2019. After the tragic passing of then Co-Chair the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Rep. Kim joined the leadership team. In honor of the late Rep. Walorski, members of the Women in STEM Caucus teamed up with NASA last year to gift an Indiana state flag flown in space in her honor to her family.

Signup to receive our Email Newsletters

The Latest News