When taking astronaut fitness tests is just a footnote in your long list of accomplishments, you know you’ve had an amazing career.
✓ International President of The Ninety-Nines organization of women pilots.
✓ Sales demo pilot for Beech Aircraft Corporation, flying their entire line of airplanes through every state in the continental U.S.
✓ One of the thirteen women who passed privately-funded astronaut testing similar to those of the Mercury astronauts.
Meet Gene Nora (pronounced Janora) Jessen. During her extremely successful aviation career, she was a pilot, flight instructor, business owner, and published author who also participated in a private research program evaluating women’s potential as possible space travelers. At the Lovelace Medical Center in 1960, she was one of an elite group of women pilots who took the physical testing regimen used for NASA’s Mercury astronauts. After the program was cancelled, House subcommittee hearings in summer 1962 made the question of women’s potential for spaceflight national news.
Jessen is not only an accomplished pilot herself but also an expert on the history of women in aviation. Come hear the tales of her many flying adventures, including air racing and flying cross country in formation to promote a new aircraft.
The GE Aviation Lecture Series is made possible by GE Aviation.