posted 10-27-2009 02:42 PM
Candidate R was one of the three candidates rated as "Outstanding with Reservations". So he either wasn't certain he wanted to be a Mercury Astronaut or he had a heart murmur or he was stressed out in the heat chamber as stated by the selection board.
The heart murmur of course brings Slayton to mind, but according to all known sources this was only discovered AFTER selection. Of course it's possible he did show symptoms during the selection process and simply was not informed. Because he was selected he could be R, but not V, or DD.
William Lawrence was rated highly, but not selected due to problems in the Heat Chamber. Some sources describe this as a heart murmur, but that could have been perceived as stress-induced. He could be candidate V, or DD.
Two candidates were not certain about accepting the astronaut assignment. Schirra, and James Woods. Halvor Ekeren dropped out late in the selection process, and was killed in a plane crash one week after the astronaut selection was announced. Schirra could be R. Woods or Ekeren could be V or DD.
My personal opinion is that NASA would be less likely to choose a candidate with a medical problem over one who initially felt this was not a good career decision.
It seems Schirra is a likely choice for Candidate R as he most definitely had reservations about becoming an astronaut - at least initially...