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  NASA's Journalist-in-Space candidates/finalists

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Author Topic:   NASA's Journalist-in-Space candidates/finalists
Tykeanaut
Member

Posts: 1624
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 05-16-2013 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've only just realised that both Walter Cronkite and Jay Barbaree were selected in the final 40 during 1986.

I also see that there was a Donn Pearlman in the initial selection, any relation Robert?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-16-2013 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
I also see that there was a Donn Pearlman in the initial selection, any relation Robert?
Of no relation (at least as much as I am aware).

dabolton
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Posts: 215
From: Round Lake, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 05-16-2013 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cronkite was a bit before my era but I recall him always being somewhat rotund. Was he fit enough to even qualify?

p51
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Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-16-2013 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of my primary interests is in War Correspondents in WW2, so I know a bit about Cronkite.
quote:
Originally posted by dabolton:
Cronkite was a bit before my era but I recall him always being somewhat rotund. Was he fit enough to even qualify?
The man was in his 70s by the time he'd have flown had he gone up if he'd gone up in the 80s, that is. That's not that odd to us now after Glenn going up, but it'd been odd then, I'd think. I remember clearly people talking about Cronkite going up at the time. It was a popular opinion among people I was around as my folks and all the adults I knew thought fondly of him for his Apollo reporting.

He WASN'T very big, especially considering his age. Just google shots of him in the 80s and 90s. He was short, but that rarely was a problem for American astronauts. But health-wise, he was in that generation of smoking/drinking reporters (think, "Mad Men" but with typewriters for the guys and nobody looking that glamorous). I wouldn't have bene shocked if he would have had problems with a treadmill at that age.

Had he gone on a shuttle mission, it wouldn't have been the first unpowered aircraft landing he would have had. As a reporter war correspondent for the UP, he landed into Holland in September of 1944 in a glider alongside the 101st Airborne in "Operation Market Garden." He had also flown combat missions in B-17s as part of a special group of correspondents devoted to the air war. I'm sure he also flew in Helicopters several times when he was in Vietnam, too. Nobody else in human history would have had all those experiences had he flown on a shuttle mission.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-16-2013 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not much of a shot, but here's a picture of Cronkite in 2004.

And yes, I'm trying to track down the other 39 semifinalists. I know there whereabouts of four - two are at colleges, one is an author (and had it not been for traffic delays, would have meet him) and the other is a speaker - heard him talk, didn't have time to meet him directly. A fifth, Lynn Sherr is writing Ride's bio, so I'll meet her should there be a book tour. And one other than Cronkite has died.

mach3valkyrie
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Posts: 183
From: Albany, Oregon USA
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 05-16-2013 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roy Neal of NBC News was another candidate that has also passed on. Not sure about ABC's Jules Bergman, who died in 1987.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 262
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 05-21-2013 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back then the selection process continued but everyone knew that none of us would ever fly. The applications were due, and to be postmarked, no later than January 15, 1986. So, about two weeks after that NASA and Congress' whole "Citizen in Space" project was coming into question and unofficially terminated.

Did not make the final forty.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 05-21-2013 10:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mach3valkyrie:
Not sure about ABC's Jules Bergman, who died in 1987.

It would not surprise me if Bergman would have been medically disqualified, if not in initial selection then certainly later on; by the early '80s Bergman had a history of seizures and a brain tumor. I don't know how much medical vetting was done during the initial process, but he probably wouldn't have made the final cut anyway due to his medical history. That's unfortunate because had he been able to fly, Bergman would have provided some interesting reports from orbit (though he probably wouldn't have been able to do his famous heat-shield demonstration with the propane torch).

Had Cronkite been selected I know he'd have done anything and everything to get into whatever shape he needed to be in. The man just plain wanted to fly in space, and would have moved heaven and earth to get in required trim.

On a related topic, I'll forever think it a shame Miles O'Brien didn't get to fly. As good a job as we've done sending pilots and scientists into space, I think we're just a little poorer for not having had just one reporter fly along and file reports from on orbit. It's an opportunity I'll forever mourn, and not just because I once made my wage as a lowly newspaper scribe and now do so as a journalism educator.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-22-2013 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Blakemore, one of the 40 semifinalists, will be moderating a talk in June in NYC as part of the 2013 World Science Festival.

All times are CT (US)

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