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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349015224

Price: £25

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The remarkable true story of America’s first women astronauts

‘Lifts the curtain on the moment when Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man” expanded to encompass the talent, ambition and perseverance of America’s first female astronauts’ MARGOT LEE SHETTERLY, bestselling author of Hidden Figures

‘Strap yourself in for a thrilling ride with genuine American heroes – six women who proved you don’t need the right plumbing to have the right stuff!’ LYNN SHERR, author of Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots – a group then made up exclusively of men – had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed too fragile for space flight. Eventually, though, NASA relented and opened the application process to everyone, regardless of race or gender. From a 1977 candidate pool of 8,000 six elite women were selected – Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon.

In The Six, acclaimed journalist Loren Grush shows these brilliant and courageous women enduring claustrophobic – and sometimes deeply sexist – media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit. Together, the Six helped build the tools that made the space program run. One of the group, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet. Everyone knows of Sally Ride’s history-making first space ride, but each of the Six would make their mark.


With The Six, Loren Grush has delivered a dazzling look into the lives of the first U.S. women to venture into space. Through its deep reporting and vivid storytelling, the book illuminates the immense obstacles and tragedies these women faced on their way to inspiring the world with their audacious, courageous spirits. This is a story that had to be told, and Grush has told it brilliantly.
Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
[Creates] an intimacy that makes [each astronaut] utterly memorable....Grush makes it thrillingly clear: These six women rose far above such misogyny, smashing our planet's highest ceilings as they soared
Engrossing...a well-rounded narrative...The Six highlights the contributions of women in science and the challenges they face
Remarkable...Grush has an important story to tell, and she tells it well. An inspiring story of the first American women to go into space, charting their own course for the horizon
A powerful, gripping, and at times heartbreaking tale of human courage in the face of impossible odds. The Six reminds us of the price that women paid to join men in space-and why these women still matter today.
Keith O'Brien, author of Fly Girls and Paradise Falls
In 1978 six accomplished women were selected as NASA's first female astronauts, entering the high-tech, high-testosterone world of human spaceflight at a time of great change in American society. How did these trailblazers survive, adapt, and eventually excel as Space Shuttle crew members? How did their lives change? Loren Grush's The Six tells this triumphant and sometimes tragic story as skillfully and completely as it ever will be told, dramatically showing events through the eyes and ears of the women themselves.
Michael Cassutt, author of The Astronaut Maker
Today there is nothing unusual about a woman flying in space, walking in space, or living in space, which makes it difficult to imagine what it was like forty-five years ago for the six women who broke the highest of all glass ceilings to become astronauts. As Loren Grush shows in this illuminating book, they overcame daunting obstacles to make their indelible marks on Earth and in space
Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
The Six is one of the most important stories to come out of the space age. It's also one of the most poignant and, at times, tragic. One can't help but cheer for these women of destiny as their journey unfolds-an edge-of-the-seat tale that is in good hands with this author. A superb researcher, Loren Grush reveals not only what it was like to be the first American women to fly in space but also what it took to confront an entrenched and powerful bureaucracy fearful of change,
Homer Hickman, author of Rocket Boys
Loren Grush has painted compellingly intimate portraits of a group of brave astronauts who changed the face of NASA-and exploration-by opening frontiers on the ground on their way to space. Well-researched and gripping, The Six is an inspiring and, at times, maddening tale that reminds us what the definition of hero is and who gets to carry that mantle.
Christian Davenport, author of The Space Barons
Strap yourself in for a thrilling ride with genuine American heroes - six women who proved you don't need the right plumbing to have the right stuff! Loren Grush deftly recounts the true grit and deep talent that smashed the celestial glass ceiling. A must-read for explorers on Earth and beyond.
Lynn Sherr, author of Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space
Propulsive, startling, and deeply moving, The Six captures the odyssey of America's first women astronauts, tracking them in delightful detail from the ground to the sky, from earthbound battles against sexism to stunning feats performed in literal orbit. Loren Grush is masterful
Jason Fagone, author of The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies
Loren Grush's suspenseful, meticulously observed account lifts the curtain on the moment when Neil Armstrong's 'one small step for man' expanded to encompass the talent, ambition, and perseverance of America's first female astronauts. The Six is a well-reported and enlightening read.
Margot Lee Shetterly, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures
A vivid account of women's battle for spaceflight equality... Grush paints a compelling picture of the rigours faced by these driven and accomplished women... But The Six also has room for the entertaining trivia of zero-gravity life
Rachel Aspden, Guardian
NASA is finally giving women the same opportunities as men-serving with Mission Control, experimenting in laboratories, and flying rockets. But it has taken six decades to reach this moment. In The Six, Loren Grush recreates the crucial turning point when America turned toward spaceflight equality, inviting six brave and brilliant women to become NASA's first female astronauts. This compelling new book blends history, humor, and heroism to bring to life those gutsy space pioneers and their struggles.
Eric Berger, author of Liftoff
Tales of the space race enshrined in American history too often center on white men and elevate machismo...Science journalist Loren Grush reclaims this place as female...Grush skillfully weaves a story that, at its heart, is about desire: not a nation's desire to conquer space, but the longing of six women to reach heights that were forbidden to them... Like space travel itself, The Six widens our vision of what it means to belong to 'the whole family of humankind'
New York Times
A spirited group biography...The Six joins a growing list of books heralding women's achievements in scientific settings where their presence was unusual or unwelcome
Wall Street Journal