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  Astronauts who knew each other before selection

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Author Topic:   Astronauts who knew each other before selection
stuartgadams
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posted 01-08-2006 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stuartgadams   Click Here to Email stuartgadams     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been recently been reading a few books about the mercury/gemini/apollo programmes (notably A Man on the moon by A.Chaikin, Carrying the Fire by M.Collins and Heroes in Space by P.Bond) and researching some websites like Astronautix, Spacefacts, Nasa and the JSC oral histories. I was suprised to discover how many of the astronauts knew each other prior to their selection. In hindsight I suppose that Nasa were fishing for big fish in a small pond (that is the best of the test pilots) so many of them would have known each other. I am trying to prepare a list of previous relationships and would appreciate any help. My current list is as follows

McDivvit and White went to Michigan University together

White and Collins West Point together

Schweickart, Aldrin and Chapman were at MIT together

ARPS Classes

1962 Collins, Basset, Engle Givens

1963 Scott Irwin (and Michael Adams)

1965 Hartsfield, Roosa, Worden, Duke

1966 Bobko, Mitchell, Mattingly (instrutors inc Hartsfield and Duke)

I am only just begining this project so this is a very small step towards my goal, i havent looked at Pax river at all yet or the basic edwards test pilot classes pre Arps.

I hope some of you share my interest in this and can help me produce a definitive list


Stuart

Rick
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posted 01-08-2006 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A good example of what you're looking for would be Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, who served in the Navy together. They were as close as brothers long before serving on a spaceflight crew together. Details are given in Chaikin's book.

ejectr
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posted 01-08-2006 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know why Conrad didn't push for his buddy Gordon to walk on the moon with him.

ApolloAlex
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posted 01-08-2006 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ApolloAlex   Click Here to Email ApolloAlex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Stuart,

As well as Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon serving together on the USS Ranger,Pete Conrad was 1 of Al Beans former instructors at Pax River.
And if that is the Stourbridge not far from Bromsgove in the Midlands,England then welcome to the clan,lol.

Cheers,
Alex.

------------------
"Why dont you fix your little problem and light this Candle?"

Rick Boos
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posted 01-08-2006 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim Irwin and John Young.

User997
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posted 01-08-2006 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for User997     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In Eugene Cernan's "Last Man On the Moon" book, he mentioned that him and Ron Evans were close friends in the military prior to selection.

He also told a great story about Lyndon Johnson pulling some strings to arrange a "secret" visit between the two following his first Gemini flight.

Duke Of URL
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posted 01-08-2006 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm surprised that nobody mentions Lovell, Conrad and Old Natasha were in the same class at Pax River together.

Deke Slayton said he knew Gordon Cooper enough to be "surpised" at his selection. I think his remark was, "I didn't know if Gordo was in the wrong group or I was". My belief is that Slayton knew Gus Grissom before Mercury as well.

WAWalsh
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posted 01-08-2006 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure about the rest, but I am reasonably confident in stating that Rusty and Buzz were not in the same class at MIT. Schweickart was either '56 or '57 and Aldrin, if I have it correct, arrived in Cambridge in 1961.

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-08-2006 10:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go back even further and you'll find that a lot of these guys knew each other in military academies. For example, Lovell, Stafford, Eisele and Givens were all the the Naval Academy's Class of 1952. In fact Givens and Eisele were roomates there for two years.

Colin

Duke Of URL
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posted 01-09-2006 01:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
For example, Lovell, Stafford, Eisele and Givens were all the the Naval Academy's Class of 1952.
Colin

Any info on class rank?

stuartgadams
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posted 01-09-2006 06:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stuartgadams   Click Here to Email stuartgadams     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the replies, I am going to go through the biographies of the guys from the nasa site to see who attended the various academies, pax river, edwards and Arps, im some but not all biographies it gives the year they graduated as well. The Edwards website states that 37 graduates of ARPS were selected as astronauts and 26 flew in space. As it was only designated as ARPS from 1961-1972 there is a good chance a few more guys knew each other from here.

WA Walsh is right that Schweickart was at MIT for his BS in 1956 but he did his MS there in 1963 and states in his interview for the JSC oral history project that he, Aldrin and Chapman discussed astronaut selection and their lack of test pilot credentials the year of their selection.

If anyone else has details on graduation years or classes for the 1959-1969 astronaut classes please let me know

thanks


stuart

mjanovec
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posted 01-09-2006 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Duke Of URL:
Deke Slayton said he knew Gordon Cooper enough to be "surpised" at his selection. I think his remark was, "I didn't know if Gordo was in the wrong group or I was". My belief is that Slayton knew Gus Grissom before Mercury as well.

In the Mercry DVD set from Spacecraft Films, there is an audio interview with Gordo, where he mentions knowing Gus pretty well before they became astronauts.

sts205cdr
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posted 01-09-2006 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott and Mark Kelly knew each other before selection.

--John

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