The Aeromedical Medical Working Team

The Army flight surgeon who had been associated with this program was Dr. William Augerson, a young captain then on duty with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala. Like Dr. White of the Air Force he was tapped by NASA to become a member of the aeromedical team of the newly organized NASA Space Task Group. He arrived at STG, located at Langley Field, in October 1958, within a few days of Dr. White's arrival.

Capt. Ashton Graybiel, USN, a cardiologist and Director of Medical Research for the Navy since 1940, had directed the biological experimentation for Project Adam for the Army. He was to serve in varied consultant capacities on the Project Mercury team through the next year. The Navy member of the working aeromedical team of the Space Task Group, however, was to be Dr. Robert B. Voas, a psychologist who at that time was a lieutenant in the Navy. He also joined STG in October 1958.

These three young military officers, White, Augerson, and Voas, who were to form the nucleus of the aeromedical working team that selected the astronauts for Project Mercury, were listed simply as the "Aero-Medical Consultant Staff" in the first STG organizational chart.

Thus by the fall of 1958 the course of the manned space flight program had been charted at the highest level, both in NASA and in DOD. From the military services, with their rich and varied experience, would come in large part the biomedical support for Project Mercury. Long-range plans and objectives could await future study, but now it was time for action. In the words of NASA Administrator, Dr. T. Keith Glennan, "Let's get on with it."10


10.  Grimwood, op. cit., pp. 27, 33.


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