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  Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts (Burgess) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts (Burgess)
cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 11-24-2010 12:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts
by Colin Burgess
  • Contains authorized biographical sketches of all 32 pioneering astronaut candidates, even ones that didn't fly on the Mercury mission, the first U.S. manned space program

  • Authoritative, well researched, highly readable, and copiously illustrated, with many photographs of the candidates published for the first time

  • Examines the goals and achievements of the Mercury team

  • Commemorates the 50th anniversary (in 2011) of the first manned U.S. space flight, with a Mercury astronaut aboard, in 1961
The names of the seven Mercury astronauts were announced in April 1959 amid a flurry of publicity and patriotism. This work provides biographical details of all thirty-two finalists for the seven coveted places as America's pioneering astronauts.

All of the candidates were among the nation's elite pilots involved in testing new supersonic aircraft capabilities. Most had served as wartime fighter and bomber pilots; some were test pilots on top secret and sophisticated aviation projects, while others were fleet admirals, prisoners of war, and proposed pilots for spaceflight programs such as the Dyna-Soar (X-20).

The names of all 32 finalists have been kept secret until very recently.

"Selecting the Mercury Seven" also relates the history and difficulties behind the initial choice of candidates. The lives, motivations, military careers, and achievements of the unsuccessful twenty-five finalists are explored first in fully authorized biographies. Test pilots for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, each man has a fascinating and very different story to tell.

All thirty-two men had to endure meticulous, demeaning, and brutal week-long medical examinations at the Lovelace Clinic in New Mexico. This was followed by another torturous week at the Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Ohio, where they were subjected to extreme fitness and physiological testing, the sole purpose of which was to sort out the Supermen from the near-supermen.

The final part of the book examines the accomplishments and spaceflights of the seven successful candidates, bringing their amazing stories right up to date.

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
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posted 11-24-2010 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent. Can't wait.

fredtrav
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posted 11-24-2010 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to it'

MCroft04
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posted 11-24-2010 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agree! Looking forward to another great read.

cspg
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posted 01-30-2011 01:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the amazon.com link, although you cannot pre-order it yet: Selecting the Mercury Seven

ColinBurgess
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posted 01-30-2011 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks for that bit of promo, Chris. I can tell you that the book is right on schedule and will be delivered to the publishers for copyediting in about six weeks, which means that September release should be maintained. It has been a pretty amazing book to write!

astroborg
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posted 01-30-2011 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You guys are killing my meager "space budget"! Chris Spain with his patches, Colin and Francis with all the books they're involved with!

Just kidding - I'll be in line to get the book in September, too.

MCroft04
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posted 01-30-2011 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Collin wrote it, then it's a must read. I'm sure there will be lots of new fascinating info and I look forward to the September release!

ColinBurgess
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posted 02-16-2011 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The principal character in this book is Captain Dale Cox, one of 32 finalists in the quest to find America's Mercury astronauts (and the oldest of those finalists). Dale has told me that a non-fiction book of his own, "Top Secret Mission," will be released by Lulu Publishing in May. It does not relate to his Mercury days, but to a reconnaissance mission flown in March 1942 to obtain critical photos for planning the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. The mission, involving three B-17 bombers, has never been revealed to the public. The airplanes were extensively modified for photo-reconnaissance and flew 18,000 miles in three stages to reach Japan. Flights of this distance had never before been attempted; in fact the longest flight up to that time was still Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic in 1927.

Dale Cox has led a truly amazing life, and it is fully covered in "Selecting the Mercury Seven" which is now ready for submission to the publishers, and will be released on schedule in September, with literally scores of previously-unpublished photos.

Richard Easton
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posted 02-16-2011 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Easton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Colin, that's a very interesting story. In June, 1942, Italian aviators flew from the Ukraine to Japanese controlled China.

cspg
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posted 03-10-2011 01:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Here's the amazon.com link, although you cannot pre-order it yet.
Now you can pre-order it.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-16-2011 10:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm delighted to announce that the manuscript, photos, captions and a marvellous foreword by Michael Cassutt for this book have all been sent to the publishers (Springer-Praxis) and editing will commence this weekend. The book is well on track for a September 1 release. In all, there are 168 photographs - the greater majority of them never before published.

heng44
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posted 03-17-2011 01:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations, Colin! Sounds like another job well done. Looking forward to the book.

onesmallstep
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posted 03-17-2011 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will be sure to read it and place it next to 'The First Soviet Cosmonaut Team' by Colin and the late Rex Hall.

ColinBurgess
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posted 03-17-2011 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book is actually dedicated to Rex Hall. He has left an incredible void in so many lives.

bruce
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posted 03-20-2011 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm really looking forward to this book, Colin! The dedication to Rex Hall is very thoughtful indeed.

cspg
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posted 04-12-2011 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the cover...

Gilbert
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posted 04-13-2011 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice. I'm really looking forward to this book.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 04-13-2011 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Me too! And it has my favourite Mercury photo on the back cover!

cspg
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posted 04-13-2011 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's indeed a very nice cover. And I'm glad it's not the picture of the seven in their silver suits!

hermit
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posted 04-13-2011 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert:
I'm really looking forward to this book.

As editor, I can say it is a fascinating account and I learned a lot. The pool of guys for the Mercury astronauts was so rich that selecting the seven was extremely difficult. My 'epiphany' moment was realising that we all recognise those who were selected but the rest are anonymous - yet any one of them could easily have been a familiar face in space histories.

divemaster
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posted 04-15-2011 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Links for pre-orders have been added to Wally's and Scott's home pages.

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-02-2011 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This message may be a little premature as a few things have yet to fall into place, but if you were thinking of pre-ordering this book at Amazon or elsewhere could I ask you just to hold back for a few weeks? I cannot say what it is at this time, but something special is being organised in regard to purchasing this book which will make you glad you held back your order. If this all comes together (or doesn't) an announcement will be made here. Sorry to be so mysterious, but that's show biz!

fredtrav
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posted 05-02-2011 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking forward to the book and to see what you come up with.

cspg
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posted 05-03-2011 12:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pre-order cancelled. This "special" thing will be available from all retailers?. WHAT IS IT?

FFrench
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posted 05-15-2011 06:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wendy Lawrence yesterday at a Sally Ride Science Festival in San Diego, with a printout of the cover design. Wendy's father was one of the Mercury selection candidates and his story is told in the book.

hermit
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posted 05-15-2011 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm, so is the deal that the 'special orders' are hand delivered by Wendy Lawrence?

hermit
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posted 05-19-2011 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today Springer took receipt of the final PDF of 'Selecting the Mercury Seven', a major milestone in the production process.

ColinBurgess
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posted 05-20-2011 12:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many thanks must go to "hermit" (aka David Harland) who was the copyeditor for this book, and who did an incredible job. He set me right on a few errors, and he had an eagle eye for any editing problems. I was hoping to have the book back to the publishers before I left for the States and Spacefest III, and thanks to David this was accomplished slightly ahead of time. The book is so much the better for his involvement and patient good humour.

Now I just have to sit back and wait for the book to come out, which I believe is still slated for 1 September or maybe a little earlier.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 05-21-2011 03:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too much teasing - release the book! I'm so looking forward to this.

Gilbert
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posted 06-06-2011 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got to met Colin at Spacefest and see a full mock-up of his Selecting the Mercury 7 book. I can't wait to read it.

FFrench
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posted 06-12-2011 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's Colin at Spacefest showing a draft copy to Jim Lovell, who is chronicled in the book as a Mercury astronaut candidate. He seemed fascinated by it.

ColinBurgess
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posted 07-14-2011 02:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you wondering what the big announcement and surprise will be in regard to this book, I promise you won't be kept in suspense much longer. Once things are fully in place in about two weeks, all will be revealed exclusively on collectSPACE, and I know many of you will be delighted by what is going to be announced.

ColinBurgess
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posted 07-24-2011 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, you've been held in suspense long enough, and the time is now deemed right to let you in on a long-anticipated announcement concerning this book, which is just weeks away from being released for sale.

You may recall (and even be a customer) that Steve Hankow has worked with Al Worden and Francis French on producing an exclusive, full-colour insert for copies of their superb book "Falling to Earth" puchased from Farthest Reaches (www.FarthestReaches.com). This quality insert is a poem specially penned by Al Worden, and each insert was personally signed by him, in addition to the book.

I am pleased to announce that Steve and I have organised a similar insert for copies of "Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts." By way of backgrounding this amazing book bonus, today there are just 12 surviving members of the 32 candidates who went through the Mercury selection process back in 1959. Three were selected in the first two astronaut groups - Glenn, Carpenter and Lovell - leaving nine who were never chosen. Of those nine, seven of the former finalists agreed to sign 300 of the inserts exclusively for Farthest Reaches. Unfortunately, two were unable to participate. This signing is taking place, one finalist after the other, right now. This means that when you purchase your copy of the book from Steve, you will also receive the bonus insert, unattached but designed to fit snugy inside the book. Those finalists signing the inserts are:

Harold W. Christian, Jr., USAF
Richard M. Corbett, USAF
Dale W. Cox, Jr., USN
Frank D. Frazier, USAF
Thomas B. Hayward, USN
Robert M. Solliday, USMC
John M. Tierney, USN

Pricing is still being worked out, although our goal is to offer this book at cover price. To that end, expect this information to be available in the next few days. In the meantime, Steve is quite happy to start a list of those interested in placing an order pending his receiving the information that will allow him to actually accept payment. The book is scheduled for release in September, which is rapidly approaching.

This will be your chance to have a magnificent bonus insert signed by seven test pilots - many of whom reached high distinctions in their later service lives - who could quite easily have become one of America's renowned Mercury astronauts. I might add that I am pledged not to reveal any of their addresses to those who may ask me, so this will likely be your only chance to obtain this historic group of signatures, and of course there's every chance that you can later add the signatures of Glenn, Carpenter and Lovell.

There's a pleasing sense of balance to this offer: there were seven Mercury astronauts - three USAF, three USN, and one USMC - and now you can have a glorious colour insert signed by seven of the surviving Mercury finalists - three USAF, three USN, and one USMC.

fredtrav
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posted 07-24-2011 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. that is a wonderful bonus. Have already e-mailed Steve to put me down on the list. Looking forward to reading the book.

SVaughan
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posted 07-25-2011 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SVaughan   Click Here to Email SVaughan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a fantastic bonus, Colin! I was certainly going to add this book to my library any way, but now I have no choice but to do so. Thank you and Steve so very much for your efforts.

ColinBurgess
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posted 07-27-2011 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve reports that names have been pouring in to be placed on the list for this book, pending pricing details, and I'm thrilled with the solid show of support for this venture. Thank you everyone.

ColinBurgess
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posted 09-09-2011 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've noticed that Steve Hankow has now posted this very special offer on his Farthest Reaches website. The books have been ordered and I'll sign them all when I'm in the States in November (to attend the ASF show at KSC), and those inserts are now making their way around the seven finalists for signing. I've seen the printed insert - minus of course the signatures - and it is truly magnificent. I can't wait to see the finished product.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 09-10-2011 04:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ColinBurgess:
I can't wait to see the finished product.

Neither can we, Colin!

hermit
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posted 10-10-2011 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hermit   Click Here to Email hermit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just received a copy of the book from Springer...


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