deke-slayton

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The Astronaut Wives Club - Launch (1.01)
↳ “Mrs. Shepard, what does it feel like to be headed out on such a historic adventure?”
“Well, we don’t know what our path will be or what toll this journey will take on each of us, but we have to trust it will be successful. And if we ever feel lost, all we need to do is look around and see that we’re not traveling alone.”

AST-05-298 - Apollo Soyuz Test Project, Slayton and Leonov in Soyuz

From the series:  Photographs of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, 2005 - 2012.  Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006.

Cold War rivals met in Earth orbit on July 17, 1975, when the Apollo command and service module docked with a Soyuz spacecraft orbital module. During the approximately two days in orbit, the three U.S. astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts performed joint experiments, shared meals in each others’ capsules and exchanged commemorative items.

In perhaps the most iconic image from the flight, astronaut Deke Slayton and cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov are seen together in the Soyuz spacecraft.

via  Ford and the U.S. Space Program

The crew of Apollo 11 (Armstrong on left, Aldrin seated) at work prepping for their EVA on the moon.  Former Mercury Seven astronaut Donald “Deke” Slayton (far right) looks on.  Slayton was pulled from his scheduled Mercury mission due to heart conditions, but stayed on and served as a coordinator of astronaut activities and performed with distinction.  He would later restored to flight status and flew on the Apollo/Soyuz mission. 

This post is a love note to 1960.

The mere thought of of smoking indoors is anathema today - imagine a time when you could have a cigarette dangling from your mouth IN THE NASA ASTRONAUT SUIT TESTING ROOM, AS AN ASTRONAUT. You can’t imagine it, can you? It’s too incredible.

The high-waistedness of John Glenn’s slacks, the innocent way he’s clearly judging Deke’s butt…“Deke, I gotta tell you, these long johns are doing wonders for your hindquarters!”…just everything about this photo makes me happy.

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On April 9, 1959, NASA announced the first seven American astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. These men would collectively become known as the “Mercury Seven.”

The men considered themselves to be military test pilots but became instant national heroes. However, they were caught in the middle of the larger Cold War rivalry and space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. NASA, concerned about the growing competition between the two countries, sent this memo proposing to publicly work with Russia. Two of the seven, Walter M. Schirra and Donald K. Slayton, in an apparent protest to this, crossed their names out and did not sign.

These documents are featured in the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” exhibit at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through January 5, 2015.

“Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.