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Wally Funk's Race for Space

The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer
Narrated by: Sue Nelson
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the ‘Women in Space’ programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating many of the male candidates, including those of John Glenn, the first American in orbit. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space. Undeterred, Wally went on to become one of America’s first female aviation inspectors and civilian flight instructors, though her dream of being an astronaut never dimmed. 

In this offbeat odyssey, journalist and fellow space buff Sue Nelson travels with Wally, now approaching her 80th birthday, as she races to make her giant leap - before it’s too late. Covering their travels across the United States and Europe - taking in NASA’s mission control in Houston and Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Wally’s ride to space awaits - this is a uniquely intimate and entertaining portrait of a true aviation trailblazer. 

©2018 Sue Nelson (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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A road trip with two brilliant women

Wally Funk could have been the first woman on the moon. We’re reminded of this often by author and science journalist Sue Nelson in this inspiring, and also intimate, audiobook. Hearing about Wally’s achievements and escapades over the years, along with other women in space science, is a wonderful thing, but what made this book so fabulous for me was the relationship between Sue and Wally: one clearly very talented woman documenting the life and ambitions of another, on a series of a adventures and road trips, all with the backdrop of Wally striving to get her rightful place in space. I want to travel with them always.

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what a book! amazing

The book puts you in places and make you feel the moments....I always looked forward to pick up my phone and listen...

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Wally Funk! Amazing woman

One of the best audio books about one of my heroines. clearly read and thoroughly captivating.

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A brilliant book about a brilliant woman

Where does she get her energy? Found myself really liking Wally Funk, hoping so much that she gets to experience her dream of going into space and wanting to meet her! Great insights into a fascinating world of space exploration and well read. Loved it.

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Fascinating true story

A really interesting book, recounting the achievements of a wonderful female aviation pioneer. Sue is an excellent author and narrator, sharing both Wally's story and their adventures together, set in the context of other women's experiences in aviation and space flight. Highly recommended.

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Brilliant! Just that...

Wonderfully inspiring Sue Nelson tells of the amazing Wally Funk. You have my daughter hooked!

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  • 16-12-18

Great story dreadful narration

Very interesting story and great history of women in the space sector but spoilt by poor narration. Would have been greatly Improved by a professional narrator.

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Outstanding good book best this year so far

I love anything to do with space and Iwould have loved to meet Wally and Sue. Gripping, funny, sad, interesting, beautfully read what else can I say? I met Helen Sharman when she came to officially open my technology centre at my school when I was the head of the department, she was the most down to earth, humble and interesting person I have ever met. I’m not surprised she was upset with the way the press treated her. She deserves, like Wally much higher praise and standing in our technological society.

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  • Katherine Avery
  • 20-10-18

Incredible and inspiring

If you’re looking for some motivation...this is a must read! I loved every minute of this book. Being a female in the men’s working world myself I appreciate women like Wally because if it was not for her and other women who paved the way, I would not be in the job I am today in the military. I am also a lover of aviation with my husband. (He even enjoyed listening too!) Being raised in it because of my dad it brings more appreciation of the aviation history and space history as well. I imagine that when I am Wally’s age... I will most likely have the same enthusiastic “glass is half full” look on life. This is incredibly inspiring to me also because of the challenges we face and to never give up on your dreams... Wally doesn’t give up!