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  Man in Space Soonest 1958 astronaut selection

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Author Topic:   Man in Space Soonest 1958 astronaut selection
Paolo P
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Edinburgh UK
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 05-14-2014 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paolo P     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How real was the Man in Space Soonest (MISS) selection of 1958?

It is notably absent from a mention in Neil Armstrong's biography "First Man" - you'd have thought he would have mentioned being part of the first astronaut selection...

Michael Cassutt
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Posts: 275
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 05-14-2014 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
M.I.S.S. was a concept that never became a formal program, so there was no "selection". Several test pilots at Edwards, military and civilian, were put through medical tests in order to establish baselines for future astronaut selection, that was all.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 677
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 05-14-2014 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In reality, yes, there was no formal, public announcement of the MISS astronauts like with the Mercury 7 in 1959. But technically, there was a USAF brief listing a preliminary astronaut selection on June 25, 1958 which consisted of Armstrong and eight other civilian/military pilots (most would go on to fly the X-15 and the lifting bodies out of Edwards).

When NASA was formed and took responsibility for manned spaceflight a few months later, MISS was cancelled and, in hindsight, would not have been any closer to launching a man into orbit than Mercury, as that program depended on the development of the Atlas missile booster for orbital flight. The contractors stated that it would take from 12 to 30 months to put an American into orbit.

Michael Cassutt
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Posts: 275
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 05-14-2014 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still think you're making too much of this. Not only was there no "formal announcement" for M.I.S.S., as there was with Mercury, there was no selection procedure (as there was with Mercury). These pilots were already in the "Manned Spaceflight Division" of test operations at Edwards and were candidates for the X-15 and whatever cool new programs would follow.

I have never found evidence that M.I.S.S. was a real program, with a budget, schedule, program director. It was an effort, yes, on the scale of Man High, but it never got much beyond that.

Paolo P
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Posts: 5
From: Edinburgh UK
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 05-14-2014 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paolo P     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cassutt:
M.I.S.S. was a concept that never became a formal program, so there was no "selection".
Thanks, that would explain why it didn't rate a mention in the book.

moorouge
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Posts: 1760
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 05-15-2014 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
M.I.S.S. was an Air Force proposal that came out of a working conference held in Los Angeles. Their plan had three elements - a high drag, no lift, blunt shaped capsule landed by parachute; or a more sophisticated approach using a lifting body; or a long range programme culminating with a space station or a trip to the Moon.

Not to be outdone, the Army came up with Project Adam. This proposed a sub-orbital ballistic flight using the Redstone booster. The justification for spending $11.5 million was to stage a ".. political and psychological demonstration". However, within days it was rejected as was a Navy proposal called Project Mer. The Navy wanted to send a man into orbit in a collapsable pneumatic glider launched in the nose cone of a giant new launch vehicle. Inflated once in orbit, it would be flown back to Earth for a landing at sea.

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