Degrees in mathematics and psychology from the University of California, Berkley, 1949. Jan and Marion Dietrich were identical twins, 34 years old when they received notification from the Lovelace Clinic that they had passed the screening tests for astronaut training. They graduated together from the University of California, Berkley in 1949. Marion worked for a time as a newspaper reporter for the Oakland Tribune, flying supersonic as a passenger in a fighter aircraft on a story assignment. She became a pilot as well, flying charter and ferry flights. By the time she went to the Lovelace Clinic for her astronaut medical screening, whe has 1500 hours of flying time. Astronaut 1960 to 2001. One of the group of women who went to the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1961 and underwent the same medical and psychological tests that the Mercury 7 astronauts had completed. She was one of the Mercury 13 finalists, considered qualified by Dr. Lovelace for astronaut training. Died of cancer.
Birth Place: San Francisco, California.
Oddly enough, the selection of these women may have resulted in the first woman going into space after all. In May 1962 a Soviet delegation, including cosmonaut Gherman Titov and cosmonaut commander Nikolai Kamanin, visited Washington. Kamanin had been pushing for the flight of a Soviet woman into space since October 1961, and five Soviet female cosmonauts had just reported for training a month earlier. However the flight of a woman in space had little support from Chief Designer Korolev or Kamanin's military commanders. On May 3 Kamanin and Titov were invited to a barbecue at the home of astronaut John Glenn. Glenn, already politically-connected, was an enthusiastic supporter of the 'Lovelace 13'. Kamanin understood from Glenn that the first American woman would make a three-orbit Mercury flight by the end of 1962. Armed with the threat that 'the Americans will beat us', Kamanin was able to obtain a decision to go ahead with the first flight of a Soviet woman within weeks of his return. The Russians were obsessed with being first in space -- and even though NASA's female cosmonauts never materialised, Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union became the first woman in space on June 16, 1963.