Briana Hansen
Updated Feb 08, 2017 @ 1:57 pm
jessica chastain
Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jessica Chastain is certainly no stranger to space. She had prominent roles in two of Hollywood’s biggest space sagas, The Martian and Interstellar. And now, Jessica Chastain will produce a TV series about Project Mercury, NASA’s first spaceflight program.

The series will focus on a group of women who were denied access to the program.

This is the first TV project Chastain will produce. And she’s doing it with her newly launched production company, Freckle Films. She may even star in the project, though that remains yet to be confirmed.

We already know she’s a big lover of both science fiction and space itself. So it wouldn’t be surprising if she decides to get onscreen.

The series announcement comes on the heels of the massive success of the film Hidden Figures.

Both critics and audiences alike have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the behind-the-scenes glimpse into women’s involvement in the predominantly male world of NASA. And the success of this movie shows that people want to know more about all the people involved in the space race – not just the ones who got the credit.

Project Mercury’s mission was to send a human being into orbit around Earth. And it had pretty strict criteria for its selection of potential astronauts.

Part of that selection process ruled out women.

The potential astronauts had to be test pilots. At the time, there were no female test pilots, so women weren’t considered for the opportunity. Because they were ruled out, a private project was formed for women pilots. It was called the Mercury 13, and the women involved underwent the same rigorous testing procedures as their male counterparts in Project Mercury.

Despite the fact that this all went down in the late ’50s and early ’60s, NASA would not end up sending a woman into space until Sally Ride in 1983.

We’re delighted Jessica Chastain will bring the stories of these phenomenal women to life onscreen. And we can’t wait to hear more about every detail of this amazing project as it unfolds.