THE LAST OF NASA'S ORIGINAL PILOT ASTRONAUTS
Expanding the Space Frontier in the Late Sixties
David J. Shayler & Colin Burgess
In April 1966 NASA selected 19 pilot astronauts whose training was specifically targeted to the Apollo lunar landing missions and the Earth-orbiting Skylab space station. Three years later, following the sudden cancellation of the USAF's highly classified Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) project, seven military astronauts were also co-opted into NASA's space program.
Resulting from the authors' deep research into these two pre-Shuttle astronaut groups, many intriguing and untold stories behind the selection process are revealed. The often extraordinary backgrounds and personal ambitions of these skilled pilots, chosen to continue NASA's exloration and knowledge of the space frontier, are also examined.
This book represents the final chapter by the authors in the story of American astronaut selections prior to the era of the Space Shuttle. Through personal interviews and original NASA documentation, readers will also gain a true insight into a remarkable age of space travel as it unfolded in the late 1960s, and the men who flew those historic messions.
Table of Contents
Abbreviations and Acronyms
1. The selections
2. The nineteen
3. The 'almost' astronauts
4. Preparing for Apollo
5. Supporting Apollo
6. Before this decade is out
7. Preparing for MOL
8. NASA's 'MOL(mag)nificent' seven
9. Where blue skies turn black
10. Riding 'The Stack'
11. After space
About the authors
Other works by the authors
427 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
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