MAKERS: Women & Space traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez and Dava Newman, who continue to make small but significant steps forward. Produced and directed by Michael Epstein.
MAKERS, in collaboration with PBS, is excited to announce six new documentaries for 2014 premiering on September 30th that focus on specific fields where women have broken new ground and reshaped central American institutions. Building on the 2013 film MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women’s movement, the series will bring a new collection of MAKERS to the site.
The six documentaries will tell the known and unknown stories of women in the areas of war, space, comedy, business, Hollywood and politics. These stories share women’s contributions to some of the most important moments in the history of our country and the world.