California State University, Fresno

Negative Space In the 1960s, 13 who passed the rigorous tests for space flight were grounded because of their gender. Now, there's a campaign to put one of them -- Jerry Cobb -- into orbit.

Once again Jerrie Cobb has flown into John Glenn's airspace. She is a shadow on his wing, dimming the hero's aura that emanates from the first American to go into orbit.

The celebrated, 77-year-old senator is the focus of the next NASA space shuttle flight, on which he will reprise his historic 1962 trip into space -- and become the oldest human being ever lifted into the void. His mission during the nine-day flight on Discovery, starting Oct. 29, is to study the effects of weightlessness on the bodies of older people.

But there are some niggling doubts about the legitimacy of his mission, about his fitness for the project, about the fairness of choosing...