Choosing and Preparing NASA's Lunar Astronauts
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This book draws on interviews to tell the astronauts' personal stories and recreate the drama of that time. It describes the process by which they were selected as astronauts and explains how the criteria had changed since the first group. “Moon Bound” is divided into two parts, recounting the biographies relating to the nine astronauts from NASA’s Group 2 in the first part, and the fourteen finalists in Group 3 in the second part.
The stories of both selection groups are narrated through the experiences of four finalists with interesting backgrounds. One of these men is Al Rupp of the USAF who, as a West Point cadet, cheekily helped to steal the Navy mascot goat prior to the annual Army versus Navy game in 1953, thus achieving legendary status in the game’s history. Rupp was killed in a plane crash just two years after being named as a finalist for Group 3. The service career of naval aviator John Yamnicky was also very much the equal of other finalists, but he was killed on September 11, 2001, as he was a passenger on hijacked Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon.
At the end of the work there are several chapters on how these candidates were prepped for their missions.
Part I Announcements and volunteers.- Screening the applicants.- The finalists.- The "Next Nine".- Settling in.- Part II The boy from Barren Run.- Answering the call.- A few exceptionally good men.- The Fourteen.- Patience and Persistence.- "Before this decade is out".- For some, the glory.- Appendices.- Bibliography.- Index.
Documents the enhanced criteria, medical selection and training process required for inclusion in the Gemini and Apollo programs
Introduces some of the fascinating personalities who were not selected but could easily have been among the moonwalkers
Completes a story begun by the author's "Selecting the Mercury Seven" and "NASA Scientist-Astronauts"
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