Many readers will doubtless be astonished to learn that animals were being fired aloft in U.S. and Soviet research rockets in the late 1940s. In fact most people not only believe that the Russian space dog Laika was the first canine to be launched into space, but also that the high-profile, precursory Mercury flights of chimps Ham and Enos were the only primate flights conducted by the United States. In fact, both countries had sent literally dozens of animals aloft for many years prior to these events and continued to do so for many years after. Other latter-day space nations, such as France and China, would also begin to use animals in their own space research.

Animals in Space will explain why dogs, primates, mice and other rodents were chosen and tested, at a time when dedicated scientists from both space nations were determined to establish the survivability of human subjects on both ballistic and orbital space flights. It will also recount the way this happened; the secrecy involved and the methods employed, and offer an objective analysis of how the role of animals as spaceflight test subjects not only evolved, but subsequently changed over the years in response to a public outcry led by animal activists. It will explore the ways in which animal high-altitude and space flight research impacted on space flight biomedicine and technology, and how the results - both successful and disappointing - allowed human beings to then undertake that same hazardous journey with far greater understanding and confidence.

This book is intended as a detailed yet highly readable and balanced account of the history of animal space flights, and the resultant application of hard-won research to space technology and astrobiology. It will undoubtedly become the ultimate authority on animal space flights.

Often lost in the shadow of the first group of astronauts for the Mercury missions, the second and third groups included the leading figures for NASA's activities for the following two decades. “Moon Bound” complements the author’s recently published work, “Selecting the Mercury Seven” (2011), extending the story of the men who helped to launch human spaceflight and broaden the American space program. Although the initial 1959 group became known as the legendary pioneering Mercury astronauts, the astronauts of Groups 2 and 3 gave us many household names. Sixteen astronauts from both groups traveled to the Moon in Project Apollo, with several actually walking on the Moon, one of them being Neil Armstrong.

This book draws on interviews to tell the astronauts' personal stories and recreate the drama of that time. It describes the process by which they were selected as astronauts and explains how the criteria had changed since the first group. “Moon Bound” is divided into two parts, recounting the biographies relating to the nine astronauts from NASA’s Group 2 in the first part, and the fourteen finalists in Group 3 in the second part.

The stories of both selection groups are narrated through the experiences of four finalists with interesting backgrounds. One of these men is Al Rupp of the USAF who, as a West Point cadet, cheekily helped to steal the Navy mascot goat prior to the annual Army versus Navy game in 1953, thus achieving legendary status in the game’s history. Rupp was killed in a plane crash just two years after being named as a finalist for Group 3. The service career of naval aviator John Yamnicky was also very much the equal of other finalists, but he was killed on September 11, 2001, as he was a passenger on hijacked Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon.

At the end of the work there are several chapters on how these candidates were prepped for their missions.
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.
Near the end of the Apollo 15 mission, David Scott and fellow moonwalker James Irwin conducted a secret ceremony unsanctioned by NASA: they placed on the lunar soil a small tin figurine called The Fallen Astronaut, along with a plaque bearing a list of names. By telling the stories of those sixteen astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the quest to reach the moon between 1962 and 1972, this book enriches the saga of humankind's greatest scientific undertaking, Project Apollo, and conveys the human cost of the space race.

Many people are aware of the first manned Apollo mission, in which Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives in a fire during a ground test, but few know of the other five fallen astronauts whose stories this book tells as well, including Ted Freeman and C.C. Williams, who died in the crashes of their T-38 jets; the "Gemini Twins," Charlie Bassett and Elliot See, killed when their jet slammed into the building where their Gemini capsule was undergoing final construction; and Ed Givens, whose fatal car crash has until now been obscured by rumors. Supported by extensive interviews and archival material, the extraordinary lives and accomplishments of these and other fallen astronauts--including eight Russian cosmonauts who lost their lives during training--unfold here in intimate and compelling detail. Their stories return us to a stirring time in the history of our nation and remind us of the cost of fulfilling our dreams. This revised edition includes expanded and revised biographies and additional photographs.
Near the end of the Apollo 15 mission, David Scott and fellow moonwalker James Irwin conducted a secret ceremony unsanctioned by NASA: they placed on the lunar soil a small tin figurine called The Fallen Astronaut, along with a plaque bearing a list of names. By telling the stories of those sixteen astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the quest to reach the moon between 1962 and 1972, this book enriches the saga of humankind’s greatest scientific undertaking, Project Apollo, and conveys the human cost of the space race.

Many people are aware of the first manned Apollo mission, in which Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives in a fire during a ground test, but few know of the other five fallen astronauts whose stories this book tells as well, including Ted Freeman and C.C. Williams, who died in the crashes of their T-38 jets; the “Gemini Twins,” Charlie Bassett and Elliot See, killed when their jet slammed into the building where their Gemini capsule was undergoing final construction; and Ed Givens, whose fatal car crash has until now been obscured by rumors. Supported by extensive interviews and archival material, the extraordinary lives and accomplishments of these and other fallen astronauts—including eight Russian cosmonauts who lost their lives during training—unfold here in intimate and compelling detail. Their stories return us to a stirring time in the history of our nation and remind us of the cost of fulfilling our dreams. This revised edition includes expanded and revised biographies and additional photographs.
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