In the 1960s, a group of women passed NASA's astronaut training tests – only to be told that women couldn't go to space. One of those women was 22-year-old Wally Funk, who spent 10 hours and 35 minutes in an isolation tank, hours longer than the male Mercury astronauts.
NASA finally accepted women to its astronaut training program in 1978. Wally applied four times but NASA rejected her every time because she had the wrong degree.
But Wally kept the dream alive – and now, in 2021, she's going to space in her 80s.
ETA: WALLY DID IT! Check out the look on her face:
This is such an amazing story (and a REALLY smart PR move on Jeff Bezos's part). I'm just so happy for Wally!
I was really nervous about the launch today. Not because of the Bezos brothers, but because of Wally. But her face when she stepped out of the capsule told the entire story. I still think the billionaire space race is bullshit, but I'm so glad Wally got to go to space!
Tangentially related : Apple TV has a show called For All Mankind. It explores an alternate world where women were allowed in space and where we colonized the moon. They borrow names and some facts from reality and then go from there. There are two seasons so far that are pretty good - slow at times, but good.