A harsh 1962 rejection letter said to be from NASA to a University of Connecticut woman interested in becoming an astronaut is going viral this week.
One double-take-filled reading of the text and you'll see why:
“Your offer to go on a space mission is commendable and we are very grateful,” NASA public information director O.B. Lloyd Jr. in the four-sentence letter.
However, he added, “This is to advise that we have no existing program concerning women astronauts nor do we contemplate any such plan.”
NASA spokesperson Bob Jacobs said it was difficult to confirm the letter’s authenticity, but Lloyd was indeed director of public services from 1961-1979.
Also, Jacobs told Yahoo! Shine, “Our research shows the wording in the response is consistent with the agency’s public stance on female astronauts in 1962.”
It also seemed similar to one sent that same year from NASA to Hillary Clinton, who revealed that she’d wanted to be an astronaut when she was young.
“So when I was about 13, I wrote to NASA and asked what I needed to do to try to be an astronaut,” she said in 2012 at an event celebrating Amelia Earhart.
“And of course, there weren’t any women astronauts, and NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts. And I was just crestfallen.”
Such letters, Jacobs noted, were “a reflection of a time, five decades ago, when the requirements for astronauts were not easily met by women."
The agency’s stance evolved with the times, however. In June of this year, NASA named a new group of eight astronauts, half of which were women.
“So times have certainly changed over the past 51 years,” Jacobs said.
There's more work to do yet, but amen to that.