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Contents Machine derived contents note: Preface vii Acknowledgements. Notes Includes index. Bibliography: p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Gardens Point Campus Library. Open to the public ; Open to the public R N None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. Crippen, USN; Maj. Charles G. Henry W. Hartsfield Jr. Robert F. Donald H. Richard H. By many scientist astronauts selected in and had expressed disappointment at not receiving flight assignments.

From the group only one Schmitt would get to the Moon while three others Garriott, Gibson, and Kerwin would fly on Skylab. The group had it even worse, having been warned by director of flight crew operations Slayton on their first day at NASA that their chances of flying were slim. A further sign of the diminished power of the astronaut office came in February , with the splashdown of the last manned Skylab mission. Christopher C. At that time, the only scheduled manned American mission was Apollo-Soyuz.

Donald K. Of the pilots, Fred Haise became technical assistant to the shuttle orbiter project manager, Charlie Duke became technical assistant to the acting manager of shuttle systems integration, and Gene Cernan became special assistant to the manager for ASTP.

Scientist astronaut Harrison Schmitt became chief of science and applications within the astronaut office, with Owen Garriott as his deputy. Joseph Kerwin became chief of life sciences within the astronaut office, with two other scientist astronauts Story Musgrave and Bill Thornton.

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Within a year Kleinknecht had been succeeded by George W. Abbey, who remained head of the flight then flight crew operations, directorate until By late , with the Space Shuttle still in development and initial flights still two or more years in the future, the number of active NASA astronauts had dropped to 27, and most of them were well into their forties. John Young was then chief astronaut, with Alan Bean as his deputy. Even though by the summer of the shuttle program was encountering technical and financial difficulties that postponed the first flight until late , and eventually to April , NASA realized that following the initial series of two-man test flights shuttle crew size could increase to six or seven astronauts per mission.

The last selection had been two years prior to that, for the second group of scientist astronauts. There were still about twenty-seven people in the astronaut office in , most of them assigned to various shuttle development duties. Somebody at NASA figured it was time to start thinking about recruiting the next generation, even though Chris Kraft was saying that the current bunch was more than adequate to support ALT, OFT, and the first few operational shuttle flights.

It took about two years to get somebody through the initial phase of training and a technical or support assignment. Given the nature of the shuttle, the new people you would need would have to be test pilots with experience in high-performance aircraft.

Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes

Then there was the issue of non-pilot astronauts. But it meant having to deal with over a thousand applications; and how do you do that fairly? They asked me how I would go about it, and I said I could think of quite a few places where qualified people could be found: the military test pilot schools, which were now accepting flight engineers, and flight test centers, NASA centers themselves, certain contractors. That was about the last I had to do with the process. It went ahead without me, and a group of thirty-five pilots and mission specialists was announced in January There was still some last-minute political Incorrect, because the original selection had twenty pilots and fifteen mission specialists.

But as it was, none of the folks from this group got into space until The feeling around JSC and headquarters was that a lot of astronauts would be needed in addition to the thirty-five new guys which is what the group named themselves. My proposal, which was strictly back of the envelope, called for six two-man crews, no more, who would fly six or seven missions a year, one every couple of months, as a team.

A crew might fly a satellite deployment mission one time and a Spacelab mission the next, the same way an airline crew would fly Atlanta to Newark, then switch to Newark to Los Angeles. There was the matter of mission specialists and payload specialists. Maybe more: if you had three satellites that were to be deployed with the Inertial Upper Stage, for example, why not fly the same Mission Specialist three times? So you might have another twenty or so mission specialists in addition to the pilots. Payload Specialists would come and go as needed.

The current office has about a hundred, flying a maximum of eight missions a year. Once crews of more than two started flying in , somebody suggested or realized that having an extra pair of hands on the flight deck was a great idea. Another rationale was that half of the shuttle astronauts were sick during their first couple of days in orbit, so the more people you had in the vehicle, the more likely you were to have a couple of people who could function.

Of course, you could wind up with five, six or seven people who were all sick, too. If you see some of the old clips of Mission Control you will not see a woman in those pictures. If you see old clips of any meeting where a decision was made, there really are very few or no women in those pictures.

And that means having men and women, minorities all represented in the appropriate proportions in order to represent the capabilities of the country.

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First Lady in orbit. The first time was almost exactly twenty years ago, in the early days of what has usually been called manned spaceflight, and the woman was a year-old textile mill worker and amateur skydiver named Valentina Tereshkova, who was hustled aboard a rocket shortly before the Soviet Union was to serve as host to the World Congress of Women.

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The event was a notable propaganda coup, although reports since then have held that poor Tereshkova was sick for most of the three-day mission. But when her Soyuz T-7 spaceship docked with the orbiting Salyut 7 space station, one of the two cosmonauts manning the Salyut joked that he had an apron all ready for her. There are a lot of people waiting for her to fail. The Right Stuff, German version - one of my birthday presents. But move over, buddy.

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The women are coming, breaching that old space boys' club and bursting into what Ms. It may also, perhaps, come to signify the ascendancy of the mission specialist over the pilot, the astronauts who have business in space over the knights of the wild black yonder The close-knit brotherhood of test pilots and fighter pilots who made up the original astronaut corps is slowly being diluted by those to whom having the Right Stuff means being able to solve quadratic equations in their heads.

The women, he finally agreed, performed as well as the men. In , encouraged by the female experience, NASA added two more women to the astronaut corps. A Navy Captain, he bridles at the thought of women in combat. The words gals and ladies come more easily to his tongue than women. Still, he never thought twice about choosing Sally Ride for his crew. I wanted a competent engineer who was cool under stress.

Sally had demonstrated that talent. Sally also has a pleasing personality that will fit with the group. To adapt to shorter limbs Ride is 5 ft. Optional grooming aids were added to the personal kits of the astronauts though Ride pointedly has not said whether she will wear lipstick or powder for the inevitable orbital TV shows. Included as well are tampons, linked together lest one drift off when the box is opened.

The shuttle's single privy was already designed with women in mind. Instead of the flexible hose used by the male-only crews of the old Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, NASA provided a wide cuplike attachment that fits over the crotch. A curtain is being added to give Ride some privacy, though she did not ask for it. Says Dr. Nor are the space agency's doctors particularly worried about the reportedly greater inclination of women toward the bends.

Doctors say that any problems can be easily averted by longer prebreathing sessions before and after a spacewalk. The fact that Sally Ride will be drifting in the cosmos, the first American woman in space, gets only the barest mention in the press handout for the upcoming flight of the Challenger.

In fact, the elite circle has all but become a melting pot. Among its 78 members, there are now four blacks, two Jews and one naturalized American who happens to be part Chinese.

Space Shuttle Challenger: Ten Journeys into the Unknown (Springer Praxis Books)

Two Europeans, a German and a Dutchman, are training for a shuttle flight later this year. But NASA seems to feel no particular guilt about its past neglect. The men were all test pilots. They were used to life-and-death situations and put their lives on the line every day. No longer are astronauts subjected to bone-crunching lift-offs or breathtaking splash-downs into the Pacific.