Sarah Gorelick

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Sarah Gorelick
Born (1931-10-30) October 30, 1931 (age 87)
Known forMercury 13, aviation

Sarah Ratley (nee Gorelick) (born October 30, 1931) is an American pilot and one of the Mercury 13 female astronauts group.


Born on October 30, 1931 in Kansas, Gorelick learned to fly in 1949 and raced in the Powder Puff Derby and toured with the Ninety-Nines. She graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics, minoring in physics, chemistry and aeronautics, then worked as an engineer at AT&T.[1][2]

During a tour of Europe she heard about a space research program, which produced the Mercury 13 and was invited to take part upon her return.[3] She underwent invasive testing, including freezing the inner ear with ice water to induce vertigo. She said of the experience, "The tests didn’t bother me at all…. When you are young you can take anything. My mind was made up: I was going to pass."[4]

After the Mercury 13, Gorelick became an accountant with the Internal Revenue Service and in 2007 received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Wisconsin.[2]


  1. ^ "Gorelick, Sarah Lee nee Ratley". Astronautix. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Sarah Lee Gorelick Ratley". National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  3. ^ "The Mercury 13: The women who trained for space flight until NASA shut them down". CBC. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  4. ^ Nicole Branan (1 September 2007). "A woman with wings". University of Denver Magazine. Retrieved 15 June 2018.