On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma Yorkâ€™s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalitionâ€™s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesnâ€™t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they canâ€™t go into space, too. Elmaâ€™s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.