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  Mercury astronaut candidates and finalists (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Mercury astronaut candidates and finalists
hpken
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Jamestown, NC 27282
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 11-18-2009 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hpken   Click Here to Email hpken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SPACEFACTS:
Has someone biographical information and/or photos about pilots like... John K. Cochran
I am the son of John K Cochran. He was a semifinalist in class III. If you want more details contact me.

issman1
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Posts: 894
From: UK
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 11-20-2009 02:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard on a radio broadcast sometime ago that the late ABC space correspondent Jules Bergman applied to join the Astronaut Corps in the 1960s. Can anyone verify this?

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 976
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 12-14-2009 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm interested in the dates all the various events happened. When Eisenhower decided to pick test pilots? When the first call went out? When did the screening of the 508 pilots occur? When did they know they had made the team?

parg1
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Posts: 16
From: Wales
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 06-16-2010 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for parg1   Click Here to Email parg1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the unsuccessful Mercury Candidates - Richard Corbett has a wonderful website detailing his career and one section deals with his Mercury Selection process, including brief clips of him being tested in a partial pressure suit and in being put in the centrifuge. The site also includes some details of who were with him at both Lovelace Clinic and Wright-Paterson. More importantly there are photographs of all 32 candidates.

parg1
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Posts: 16
From: Wales
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 01-20-2011 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for parg1   Click Here to Email parg1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The identities of the 32 semifinalists for the 1959 selection are now known, but which candidate equates to which candidate letter (A to EE) is still open to debate. I have long held the view that "service politics" played a part in the final selection with I believed candidate L (Navy) being replaced by candidate R (USAF) to ensure a "balance" of services in the selection.

However re-visiting Charles Wilsom's work, particularly Table 2.1 showing the results of one group of candidates - namely EE, A, BB, K, L and D during acceleration testing at Wright's has raised another possibility and possibly identified 3 of the candidates (EE, K and L).

Richard Corbett on his site notes that he was at Wright with Bogan, Frazier, Carpenter, Glenn and Solliday from 23 March 1959. It has been noted elsewhere that Candidate K was Carpenter, and that EE was Glenn. Taking that this is correct then Corbett's data indicates that candidate L 3was probably Solliday (USMC). Therefore the inbalance in selection was in favour of the USMC (both candidates in the Final 32 making the top 7), and the decision was taken to include candidate R (whether Navy or Air Force) to ensure a correct balance of service personnel made the Mercury Astronaut group. Who was candidate R is still open to debate.

Having details of the composition of the other groups at Wright's would allow confirmation of his identity, as well as identifying the other finalists.

jasonelam
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Posts: 464
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 01-20-2011 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read somewhere that the original selection was going to be six, but because the there was a tie between two for the last spot they decided to go with 7. Has anyone heard of this?

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1585
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-20-2011 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jason, your information is substantially correct. When the call for astronauts first went out, the candidates were told that twelve would be selected. Then the newly-appointed Chief of Manned Space Flight, George Low, said that during the interview and test period it became obvious that not all the men selected would get flights, so the number was reduced to six as it was felt some would drop out if they were not to get flights. Winnowing the list of superbly qualified candidates down proved such a difficult task that permission was sought from Robert Gilruth to increase the number to seven, and he agreed.

The details, plus biographies and photos of all 32 finalists who underwent the selection tests at the Lovelace Clinic and Wright Air Development Center are contained in my new book "Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's Astronauts" which will be released by Springer-Praxis in September.

jasonelam
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Posts: 464
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 01-20-2011 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Colin! I never realized that the original list would have been 12. That would have been interesting.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1585
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 10-25-2011 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm endeavouring to contact the son of John Cochran, who posted a message on this forum two years ago. There's been no response to the listed email address. Are you still checking collectSPACE, and if so, could you please contact me?

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1579
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 11-04-2011 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apologies if this has been answered earlier.

I recently read that the original selection was to be just six. However, because two candidates were judged to be equal, both were selected making the final number seven.

Do we know who the two 'tied' candidates were?

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 976
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 11-05-2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have also heard that the original selection was too be six, three Air Force pilots and three Navy pilots. They (the Space Task Group) needed the Air Force's backing because they needed the Atlas. They also needed the Navy's backing because they were going to fish him out of the drink.

Thus the STG went around to various offices in the Pentagon telling everyone of their plan.

John H. Glenn (who was working in the Pentagon at the time) asked "You mean your not going to pick any Marines?" Those on the selection committee locked each other in disbelief. "We never thought of it" came the reply.

"The Marine Corps has jets and they have jet pilots I know I'm one of them, I want to be included in the selection process".

And so it came to pass seven not six were chosen. Three Air Force pilots, three Navy pilots and one Marine.

I'm not sure if this is a true story or not but it's food for thought.

MCroft04
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Posts: 1244
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 11-08-2011 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm about a third of the way through Colin Burgess' new book "Selecting the Mercury Seven"; the answer is probably in this book. Either way, it's a must read!!

ColinBurgess
Member

Posts: 1585
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-08-2011 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lou Chinal:
I'm not sure if this is a true story or not but it's food for thought.
It wasn't quite that way, as recorded by U.S. Navy psychologist Dr. Robert Voas who was a major player in the selection process. He admitted that he was the Navy representative on the selection group and made the error of assuming that the records of the Marine Corps pilots would be in the same files as the Navy pilots, since they all went to the same Patuxent River test pilot school. It wasn't until they had selected almost all of the 110 candidates that it was called to his attention that they didn't have any Marines in their candidate lists. They made quick contact with the Marine Corps who gave Voas the names of two pilots who fit the requirements - John Glenn and Bob Solliday.

The initial goal was for 12 astronauts to be selected, but this was later reduced, according to selection committee psychiatrist Dr. Stanley White (who passed away in September) to "seven or eight."

Glenn definitely wasn't added to give any sort of symmetry to the service numbers, and he certainly didn't alert anyone to this fact. Those on the selection panel are quite adamant that the balance of three USAF, three USN and one USMC appointee was something that just happened, and was not deliberately planned.

z_tal_site
Member

Posts: 36
From: Zaragoza, SPAIN
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 11-06-2013 05:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for z_tal_site   Click Here to Email z_tal_site     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting thread!

On the Scott Carpenter's website we can read:

In the Carpenter biography, For Spacious Skies, Kris Stoever reports that the STG Selection Board "chose seven men, but not the top seven. Eschewing to some extent the numerical rankings, they chose the candidates ranked first, second, third, fifth, eighth, tenth, and fifteenth."
Is there a list with the final ranking? Were Shepard, Grissom and Glenn, the first, second and third candidates? Any light? Thanks.


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