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Old 03-06-2020, 01:40 PM
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Default Living Astronauts

I noticed Axiom is planning to start launching paying customers to fly to the ISS via SpaceX late next year. I believe there are only 16 living astronauts from the Gemini/Apollo era and none of the original Mercury 7 survive. Forgive me if I've forgotten about a passing.

I think in order for all civilian flights to the ISS, NASA should make them include one of these heroes of the program on the flight with them, free of charge. Why? We owe them. Of these 16, there are probably only a small handful that are still healthy enough to go as passengers. They can even get some medical studies done to them on the ISS just for old time's sake. Who wouldn't want to be probed and prodded on an exotic vacation? Of course, the sky was more clear and blue the last time they flew, and some of them did get to hang out in a much more exclusive region of space than LEO. They may not even care to go.

Jim McDivitt
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:11 PM
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Sadly, Alan Bean is gone as of early 2018, I think. But yeah, I think all the guys are probably early 80s and beyond. Buzz turned 90 back in January I believe.

I agree with the sentiment, if they want to go.

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Old 03-07-2020, 07:21 AM
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We know it will never happen, but if Glenn could finagle his way back to space when he had no business going on NASA's dime, the rest should have the chance to go.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:59 PM
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Sadly, I just read on the NASA home page that Al Worden, Command Module Pilot for Apollo 15, has passed away.

That leaves Dave Scott as the lone survivor of that crew. Jim Irwin, who walked on the moon with Scott on that mission, was the first of the moon walkers to pass away, I think back around about 1990.


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Old 03-19-2020, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
We know it will never happen, but if Glenn could finagle his way back to space when he had no business going on NASA's dime, the rest should have the chance to go.


Glenn finagled his way back into space while being a politician (Senator from Ohio). I'm sure the NASA admin people felt they had to keep the pols happy and that giving Glenn what he wanted could help grease the skids.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernomatic
Glenn finagled his way back into space while being a politician (Senator from Ohio). I'm sure the NASA admin people felt they had to keep the pols happy and that giving Glenn what he wanted could help grease the skids.


The story I heard several different times (but do not know how true it is) was that Glenn's flight was 'payback' for supporting and standing by the President during the Lewinski 'episode'.

From Air & Space magazine:

"He had always longed to return to space, but Glenn had assumed that chance had been lost forever. Now, at the age of 73, he saw another opportunity. He wasn’t about to ask NASA for a free ride; he would have to show that there were good scientific reasons for sending a septuagenarian into space. He was already in frequent contact with NASA administrator Dan Goldin about the agency’s budget; now he started using those meetings to talk up the idea. At first Goldin thought he was joking. By the end of the year, however, as Glenn continued to raise the subject, telling him all about the conversations he’d been having with researchers at the National Institute on Aging, Goldin realized he meant it.

For the next two years, Glenn worked patiently to advance his cause. Finally, in January 1998, Goldin made it official: In October John Glenn would fly on the space shuttle Discovery, as part of a crew of seven, on a nine-day mission."
=================


January, 1998 is when the Lewinski story broke. So, maybe Glenn had been gently pushing for some way to get a ride on the shuttle and the President's 'issues' at the time gave Glenn an extra bargaining chip.

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