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Three astronauts have been grounded from aircraft flying for 30 days for violations of NASA flying regulations. The groundings were ordered by Donald K. Slayton, Director of Flight Crew Operations. The astronauts are Alan Bean, Walter Cunningham and Joseph Kerwin.
On December 16th through a communication misunderstanding, Bean took off from Ellington Air Force Base, Texas without a departure release, although he thought he was cleared for take off.
On December 17th Cunningham and Kerwin, in separate flights from Ellington, violated a regulation requiring them to list a suitable departure alternate airport before take off.
The groundings are normal action taken by all flying organizations in such cases. They will be returned to flight status on January 23rd.
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