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Mounting pressure in the early 1960s from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study ways of expanding the role of astronauts to conduct science on future space missions led to NASA’s conclusion that flying scientifically trained crewmembers would generate greater returns from each mission.
In October 1964 the Soviets launched Voskhod 1 whose 3-man crew were identified as the first "scientific passengers" in space. A few days later NASA and the NAS had completed joint studies into the possibility of using scientists in the manned space programme, and invited scientists to apply for astronaut training.
In selecting the first group of scientist-astronauts, NASA had one firm requirement; any person accepted into the programme would have to qualify as a military jet pilot.
This book provides unique access to the story of how scientists were accepted into the American Space Programme, and reveals how, after four difficult decades, the role of the heroic test pilot astronaut has been replaced by men and women who are science orientated space explorers.
The Wrong Stuff.- Scientists as Astronauts.- The Scientific Six.- School for Scientists.- The Excess Eleven.- “Flying Is Just Not My Cup of Tea”.- A Geologist on the Moon.- Laboratories in the Sky.- Shuttling into Space.- The Long Wait.- Ending of Eras.- Science Officers on ISS.