Redevelopment for MA-9

The flight of Sigma 7 had been so nearly idyllic that some observers, whether from cynicism or a kind of parental possessiveness, believed Project Mercury should be concluded on Schirra's positive note. Any further attempt at manned satellite flight with this first-generation hardware might press the program's luck too far and end sourly, if not calamitously. To cancel Mercury now would ensure the reputation of the project. Others argued it would sacrifice the living potential, [487] as well as the intense desire, of the Mercury team to test man in space for one full day.33

Among Manned Spacecraft Center officials, there was no real decision to be made here; Mercury had begun in earnest in 1959 with a vision of an ultimate 18-orbit mission. But by October 1959, the inexorable growth in capsule weight and power requirements and the limitations of the network had forced the Space Task Group to erase that vision. The 18-orbit mission for Mercury had been revived by the summer of 1961, in conjunction with serious planning for Project Apollo and for a "Mark II" ballistic capsule design. And when Project Gemini was publicly named on January 3, 1962, as an interim program to fill the void before Apollo could be developed, Mercury engineers were already diving headlong toward the revived 18-orbit, 27-hour mission.34

During the period from September 1961 to January 1962, the word "capsule" had been erased from Mercury vocabulary in favor of the word "spacecraft." It was then that the Space Task Group (STG) became Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), and NASA Headquarters reorganized Abe Silverstein's Office of Space Flight Programs into an Office of Manned Space Flight under a new director, D. Brainerd Holmes. In the midst of all this confusion, one thing had been clear: a Mercury spacecraft would have to fill the gaps in space, time, and knowledge before a Project Gemini two-man capsule could be developed and qualified. Although the physiological effects of extended exposure to weightlessness were still of primary interest, the only local policy issue was whether to adopt another change in nomenclature. Should the day-long sustained space flight be called MA-9 or Manned One-Day Mission (MODM)?35

Throughout the spring and summer of 1962, Mercury engineers, both at NASA centers and in St. Louis, had studied various design proposals for advanced versions of the ballistic spacecraft. The first Gemini capsule mockup review had been held at the factory on March 29, about the same time that Lewis R. Fisher, James E. Bost, William M. Bland, Jr., Robert T. Everline, and others had completed the specifications for a Mercury spacecraft for the manned one-day flight. Not until September, however, were negotiations settled with McDonnell over configuration changes to the four capsules set aside for this purpose (Nos. 12, 15, 17, and 20). A week before the Schirra flight, NASA Headquarters announced a new plan to phase Mercury into Gemini more quickly, if MA-8 and MA-9 met all expectations.36

After Schirra, Atlas 113-D, and Sigma 7 excelled those expectations in nearly every respect, the Manned Spacecraft Center forwarded its sixteenth quarterly status report to NASA Headquarters, claiming:

This report will be the final in the series of Project MERCURY, as such, since the MA-8 flight was the last mission of Project MERCURY. Future reports, although they will continue with the following number (17), will be on the status of the Manned One-Day Mission (MODM) Project (MERCURY Spacecraft).
[489] Robert Gilruth's team, now located in temporary quarters at 13 buildings scattered over southeast Houston, was planning on an April 1963 launch date for MA-9, using spacecraft No. 20. On November 9, 1962, MSC's senior staff decided to aim for 22 rather than 18 orbits (or 34 rather than 27 hours), if all went normally.37

Walter Williams, Christopher Kraft, and Kenneth Kleinknecht proceeded to coordinate the mission planning with the Defense Department. This flight would involve vastly expanded support, because MA-9 was to criss-cross virtually all of Earth's surface between latitudes 33 degrees north and south of the equator. L. Gordon Cooper was officially announced as the pilot and Alan Shepard was named alternate in mid-November. McDonnell had estimated that this mission alone would cost $17,879,834 to complete, but as yet the Air Force, Navy, and Army participants had not conferred with NASA about new needs for the recovery network and medical support.38 Clearly the MA-9 operation would not be able to challenge the 64-orbit feat of Nikolayev in Vostok III nor the 48 orbits of Popovich in the tandem Vostok IV, but MA-9 should go well beyond Titov's 17 orbits in Vostok II.

Meanwhile NASA and the Manned Spacecraft Center took their cues from President Kennedy and Administrator James E. Webb to mobilize greater effort toward the longer-range goals symbolized by Project Apollo. Only 55 persons staffed Kleinknecht's Mercury Project Office specifically to coordinate the diverse preparations for MA-9. Of the 2500 people employed by MSC in January 1963, only 500 were working directly on Mercury. The Gemini and Apollo teams were rapidly taking shape. NASA had just honored a group of nine old-time engineers from the Space Task Group as the "Mercury Spacecraft Inventors." The list of innovators was headed by Maxime A. Faget, and included Andre J. Meyer, Jr., William Bland, Alan B. Kehlet, Willard S. Blanchard, Robert G. Chilton, Jerome B. Hammack, Caldwell C. Johnson, and Jack C. Heberlig. But of that group of designers and developers, only Bland still remained employed in the Mercury Project Office. The rest had gone to work on Gemini and Apollo.39

One of the more significant New Year's resolutions enacted by NASA in 1963 was the appointment of a Manned Space Science Planning Group and of a Panel on Inflight Scientific Experiments, known informally as POISE, chaired respectively by Eugene M. Shoemaker and John A. O'Keefe. These two new groups were established to replace the Ad Hoc Committee on Scientific Tasks and Training for Man-in-Space and to ensure closer coordination between the Manned Spacecraft Center and the NASA Office of Space Sciences. They were only temporary expedients, staffed by most of the same people who had served earlier as consultants, but at least the manned space science programs for Gemini would be born more respectably than those for Mercury.40

At the first MSC senior staff meeting in 1963, Walter Williams warned his colleagues that two recent failures in Atlas-F launchings by the Air Force were inexplicable, or so far, at least, unexplained. Unless investigating committees [490] could clear up these failures soon, absolving the Atlas-D from any guilt by association, the MA-9 schedule might suffer. After five years of developmental experience, the Atlas ICBM had approached but still not attained a reliability high enough for comfort. The Atlas, even as modified and "gold-plated" by the "man-rating" tests and procedures, was still basically a ballistic missile, only converted and not designed to launch men into space. After five consecutive Mercury-Atlas launches without a failure, it was all too easy to forget this fact.41 When the 130-D, Cooper's "bird," was first rolled out of the factory in San Diego on January 30, it failed to pass inspection and was returned for some rewiring.

Amid some charges from impatient newsmen that NASA had "muzzled" Cooper, the prime pilot took time out on February 8 to hold a press conference in Houston that refuted such public speculation. Cooper forthrightly admitted what little he knew about the booster problem and answered in picturesque detail a host of questions about new developments for his space suit, his spacecraft, his mission. "This is going to practically be a flying camera," he said, explaining the new slow–scan television monitor, the 70-millimeter Hasselblad and its different film packs, the special zodiacal-light 35-millimeter camera, and a 16-millimeter, all-purpose moving-picture camera. Cooper had difficulty convincing some reporters that the duration of the MA-9 mission would depend on how well it went - for "as many as 22 orbits" - and that he was still "struggling" to find a suitable name for spacecraft No. 20. But otherwise he talked freely about the most significant differences between the MA-8 and MA-9 spacecraft, although obviously he could not name all 183 of the changes then underway at McDonnell's Canaveral shop.42

Weight growth had been the primary nemesis in preparing for every Mercury mission, and this was especially true for the day-long mission. As is characteristic perhaps of all American technology, and especially of advanced modifications to military aircraft, overweight accessories tended to compromise the vehicles' performance. In the case of the MODM spacecraft, heavier batteries for more electrical power, another 4-pound bottle of oxygen, 9 pounds of cooling and 4.5 pounds of drinking water, plus 15 more pounds of peroxide fuel were imperative additions. Experimental gear, a full load of consumables for life support systems, and various modified components were also judged necessary, though heavier, installations. In an effort to compensate for these added weights, the 12-pound Rate Stabilization Control System (RSCS), a 3-pound UHF and a 2-pound telemetry transmitter, both of which were true redundancies now; and, in particular, the 76-pound periscope were deleted. Manned Spacecraft Center engineers almost discarded the fiber-glass couch in favor of a new hammock to shave away 17 more pounds, but that change did not materialize because the engineers feared the material might stretch and the astronaut bounce. So the MA-9 payload continued, through 31 weeks of grooming, to grow into an estimated weight of 3,026.3 pounds in orbit.43

Such weight increases had become expected, at the rate of about two pounds per week of preparation, and early in 1962 the Mercury managers had called for [491] an extensive requalification program of the parachute and landing system. Known as Project Reef, these tests had effectively allayed all fears about the ringsail parachutes' margin for error with heavier loads long before Sigma 7 gave an even better demonstration. At the beginning of 1963, NASA scientists from other centers were pleased to gain some voting strength on the 20-man committee established nine months earlier to decide what in-flight scientific experiments should be conducted. But the majority voting strength of this panel still remained with MSC engineers, whose weight-consciousness and power-consciousness effectively stifled the transformation of MA-9 and spacecraft No. 20 into a more purely scientific orbital laboratory.44

Another ground test program behind the scenes, namely Project Orbit, which by the end of February 1963 had completed a 100-hour full-scale simulated mission in its thermo-cryogenic vacuum chamber, stirred up concern that the reaction control thrusters might get sluggish or freeze during long periods of inactivity in space. In all other respects, Project Orbit seemed to certify that the McDonnell spacecraft and all subcontracted systems were ready and reliable for a full day or more up there.45

Meanwhile, the tiger teams at work on Atlas 130-D were exceptionally pleased when, on March 15, 1963, the second factory rollout and flight-acceptance inspections on this booster were completed without a single minor discrepancy. Philip E. Culbertson, Gus Groissant, John P. Hopman, and David R. Archibald of General Dynamics/Astronautics flew across the country to deliver to their test conductor at the Cape, Calvin D. Fowler, what they believed to be their best bird yet. Bernhard A. Hohmann and helpers at Aerospace Corporation had defined an offset of the booster engines to counteract the threatening roll rate that Schirra had experienced at liftoff. And on April 22 spacecraft and rocket were mated.46

By the end of April, all plans and preparations had been well laid and revised in accord with the precedents and lessons of previous flights. The detailed flight plan, technical information summaries, calculated preflight trajectory data, public information directives, experiments guidebook, and documentation directives were all disseminated. The world was girdled by military and medical recovery personnel waiting for May 14 and the launch of Gordon Cooper. A total of 28 ships, 171 aircraft, and about 18,000 servicemen were assigned to support MA-9. These included 84 medical specialists, a reduction by half in the number of medical monitors and corpsmen since Glenn's flight. This was a token of the confidence the planners now had in Mercury and its men.47

But that confidence was not shared by everyone. While Cooper struggled to select the most appropriate name for his capsule, criticism of NASA and its implementation of national space goals swelled once again. Philip H. Abelson, editor of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Warren Weaver of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; and Senator J. William Fulbright from Arkansas raised voices in protest against the Moon race and against manned space flight in general. The costs of manned orbital flight, [492] the confusion regarding "science" and "technology," and urgent social and political problems deserving equal attention were to be widely debated.48

Against this context, when Cooper finally announced his choice of a call-sign - Faith 7, symbolizing "my trust in God, my country, and my teammates" - NASA public affairs officers were described by the Washington Post as worried:

The naming of the bell-shaped capsule - a tradition accorded to the astronaut riding it - has given Cooper some bad moments. He has picked "Faith 7," which has drawn some raised eyebrows in the "image" conscious space agency.

"Suppose that, for some reason, we lost the capsule at sea," said one source."Then it would come out reading something like, 'The United States today lost Faith. . . .' "49

So much had happened, so many things had changed in the four years since Project Mercury had become publicized by the selection of its seven astronauts, that the Manned One-Day Mission seemed an appropriate new name to symbolize the differences. Now there was a second class of nine more astronauts-in-training; there was the national goal of a lunar landing before 1970; there were new facilities, new administrators, and thoroughly reorganized procedures and policies to follow. Mariner II, in its magnificent survey of Venus in December 1962, was interpreted a few months later as having proved Venus to be one destination in planetary space that might as well be forgotten as a target for manned landings. Mars remained a mystery, and so also did Earth's Moon, for that matter, but the decision to try Project Apollo made Mercury already merely a demigod. While Project Ozma used radio telescopes in a search for evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, Telstar II was launched May 7, 1963, to renew the hope that Earthmen might exercise greater intelligence than they had in the past by establishing more intelligent communications with each other.50

In the midst of the heat of scientific and political criticism of both Department of Defense and NASA space priorities and costs, NASA and the Mercury managers had to decide what, if anything, should be the next mission after MA-9. If Walter Williams and others at MSC had their way, an MA-10 mission, planned for a three-day sojourn in space, would follow. But they were overruled, and Julian Scheer, the new NASA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, announced emphatically on May 11, "It is absolutely beyond question that if this shot is successful there will be no MA-10."51

So Astronaut Cooper knew, as he made the final preparations after four years of training, that his flight would mark the end of the beginning. A well-known life insurance company subscribed to Cooper's faith by underwriting the first commercial astronaut policies, including one for Cooper. The Mercury operations team gathered at the Cape the second week in May and found Faith 7, Atlas 130-D, and Cooper all ready to take off. Only the weatherman, Ernest A. Amman, voiced his doubts about the May 14 launch date.52

At 6:36 on the morning of May 14, Gordon Cooper was sealed inside his Faith 7 spacecraft atop the steeple that was his Atlas. He checked off all his systems [493] and awaited completion of the blockhouse and Control Center checkoffs, which should count down to ignition about 9 o'clock and lift him up to insertion about 9: 05. A suction-cup force pump, the kind commonly called a "plumber's friend," had been Alan Shepard's parting gift to Cooper, but the instruction inscribed on the handle, "Remove before launch," had been obeyed. It would not make the long trip with Cooper.

While waiting, Cooper heard the secondary control center on Bermuda report that its basic C-band radar system was misbehaving both in azimuth and range. So he napped for a time during repairs. When Bermuda had corrected the difficulty, at about 8 o'clock, the countdown was resumed, and the gantry was ordered back. But the diesel engine failed to move the gantry, and engineers scurried around, looking for the proper plumber's helper to repair a fouled fuel injection pump. [494] More than two exasperating hours were lost on the "fail-safe" diesel locomotive before the count could resume.

At high noon, the gantry was driven back. But radar data from Bermuda, which was vital to the go/no go decision before the point of no return, now was intermittent. The launch was postponed. Cooper emerged from his capsule, saying, "I was just getting to the real fun part. . . . It was a very real simulation." Later that afternoon he went fishing, while checkout crews stayed at the pad, seeking out unsuspected trouble spots such as the diesel fuel pump.53

That night Mercury Operations Director Williams broadcast the word: "All systems are go, and the weather is good. Let's pick up the count and go." Cooper lay down to sleep, confident that his safety and the mission would keep until he should awake and take his place.

Next morning the countdown proceeded smoothly. Cooper had lain in the capsule only two and a half hours when he heard the final chant:

"T minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Ignition. Liftoff."54


33 James M. Grimwood, who came to work for STG/MSC in August 1962, remembers clearly this contrast in attitudes.

34 Letter, A. H. Smith, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., to NASA Procurement and Supply Office, "Mercury Capsule Contract NAS 5-59, Contract Change Proposal No. 340, Eighteen-Orbit Mark I Spacecraft," Sept. 29, 1961; "Project Development Plan for Research Development Utilizing the Mark II Manned Spacecraft," MSC, Langley Air Force Base, Va., Dec. 8, 1961; "Operational Plan for 18-Orbit Manned Mission," STG, Oct. 5, 1961.

35 On "newspeak," cf. "Project Mercury Status Report No. 12 for Period Ending Jan. 31, 1962," STG. On reorganization, see Grimwood, Mercury Chronology, 152, 219; and NASA Sixth Semiannual Report to Congress, July 1 through December 21, 1961 (Washington, 1962), 137, 139. On the state of the art of physiological research before MA-9, see J. C. Simons and W. N. Kama, "A Review of the Effects of Weightlessness on Selected Human Motions and Sensations," AMRL memorandum P-36, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 1963; James P. Henry, "Physiological and Performance Aspects of Weightlessness," MSC fact sheet No. 73, 1962.

36 For 1961 feasibility studies, see "Mercury Spacecraft Advanced Versions," AD 61, 224B, control No. C-57978, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., 1961; NASA briefing charts, undated, A-28358, Ames Research Center, 1-31. For MODM evolution, see Robert T. Everline, Edward B. Hamblett, Jr., and William R. Humphrey, "Preliminary Mercury 18-Orbit Spacecraft Information Document," MSC memorandum report, Jan. 11, 1962; Lewis R. Fisher, "Mercury 18-Orbit Information Document (Minimum Weight Spacecraft)," MSC memo report, Jan. 19, 1962. For the basic specification for MODM, see Everline et al., "Manned One-day Mission Mercury Spacecraft Specification Document," NASA Project Mercury working paper No. 223, April 23, 1962. On concurrent progress with Gemini, see Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962, 43, 199.

37 "Project Mercury Quarterly Status Report No. 16," 1; "Minutes of the Senior Staff Meeting," MSC, Nov. 9, 1962. MSC learned of NASA's formal approval of a 22-orbit flight five weeks later. "Minutes of the Senior Staff Meeting," MSC, Dec. 14, 1962. Orbit 21 would duplicate orbit 6, but MSC decided on 22 orbits to optimize the recovery location near Midway Island again and the margins for error in spacecraft systems and supplies.

38 Letter, J. Y. Brown, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., to NASA/MSC Mercury Procurement Office, with enclosure, "Financial Status Summary, Mercury One-Day Mission Contract NAS 5-59," Oct. 11, 1962. The major mission-planning meeting for MA-9 was held at Patrick Air Force Base on Dec. 3 and 4, 1962. See Davis, "Minutes of Pre-Operational Conference for Project Mercury One-Day Mission (MA-9)," Dec. 18, 1962.

39 Mss. for Project Mercury Tech. Hist. Program, Robert B. Merrifield, "Organization," July 1963, Part I, B, 14; and Marvin F. Matthews, "Patents," Oct. 22, 1963, Part I, H. See also Grimwood, Mercury Chronology, 178. Two of the "Mercury inventors" were no longer with MSC: Alan B. Kehlet had left government service to work on Apollo for North American Aviation, and Willard S. Blanchard had remained at Langley, saying "It was hot enough for me right here." Kehlet, interview, Downey, Calif., Aug. 27, 1964; Blanchard, interview, Langley Field, Va., Jan. 6, 1964. Problems in the sociology of invention, particularly that of simultaneity in discovery or innovation, were compounded many times by the teamwork developmental approach in Mercury. Simplistic views of these matters were embodied in the Mercury capsule contract as well as in certain NASA presentations to Congress which tended to become policy. Some indication of the extent to which credit for innovations ought to be diffused may be gained from the letter, Glenn F. Bailey to J. M. Carson, Jr., "Contract NAS 5-59 Inventions," Sept. 8, 1961.

40 Jocelyn R. Gill, interview, Houston, Oct. 11, 1965; letter, Gill to members of POISE, Jan. 7, 1963. For a critique of Mercury experimental planning, see letter, Edward P. Ney, Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota, to Gill, Aug. 27, 1962.

41 "Minutes of the Senior Staff Meeting," MSC, Jan. 4, 1963; "Mercury/Atlas (MA-9) Launch Information and Notebook," General Dynamics/Astronautics, San Diego, undated; C. L. Gandy, Jr., and I. B. Hanson, "Mercury-Atlas Launch Vehicle Development and Performance," in Mercury Project Summary Including Results of the Fourth Manned Orbital Flight May 15 and 16, 1963, SP-45 (Washington, 1963), 102.

42 "Gordon Cooper Press Conference," transcript, MSC, Feb. 8, 1963, 1, 3, 11; Charles M. Vaughn, "Differences Between Spacecraft 16 (MA-8) and Spacecraft 20 (MA-9) as of January 11, 1963," McDonnell Aircraft Corp. Cooper himself had been fully briefed on the MA-9 experiments only four days earlier. See memo, Vaughn to Mercury Project Office, "Minutes . . . of the Mercury Experiments Briefing, MA-9/20," Feb. 13, 1963.

43 "Manned One-Day Mission - Mission Directive for Mercury/Atlas Mission 9 (MA-9) (Spacecraft No. 20 - Atlas 1 30-D)," NASA Project Mercury working paper No. 232, Feb. 12, 1963, rev. April 25, 1963; Boynton, Edison M. Fields, and Donald F. Hughes, "Spacecraft Systems Development and Performance," in Mercury Project Summary, 52. For daily diaries of the technical modifications to each MODM spacecraft at the Cape, see Wilbur Allaback's series of weekly reports to Vogel, of MSC Atlantic Missile Range Engineering Operations, Oct. 1962 to May 1963. For an interesting sidelight on the ECS instrumentation, see William H. Bush, Jr., "CO2 Partial Pressure Measuring System Development," for Mercury Technical History Program, July 23, 1963.

44 Norman B. Foster, collected documents for Mercury Technical History, "Experiments" folder, Part III, F, May 27, 1963, passim; and Gill interview.

45 See "Consolidated Activity Report for the Director of Manned Space Flight," MSC, Feb. 23, 1963; Grimwood, Mercury Chronology, 158, 167, 180, 183; Ms., Karl F. Greil for Project Mercury Technical History Program, "History of Reaction Control System," July 1963, 12-27; Joe W. Dodson, interview, Houston, March 2, 1965. See also Minutes, "Inflight Scientific Experiments Coordination Panel," Robert B. Voas, secretary, Dec. 17, 1962; Jan. 29, Feb. 25, and March 26, 1963.

46 "Proceedings of the Mercury-Atlas Booster Reliability Workshop," San Diego, July 12, 1963, 1-56; News release, "Important Mercury-Atlas Refinements," Aerospace Corp., May 6, 1963; "MODM Project Quarterly Status Report No. 18 for Period Ending April 30, 1963," MSC.

47 "Flight Plan for MA-9/20," March 4, 1963, Rev. A, April 15, 1963; Rev. B, May 10, 1963; "Preparation and Activities Plan for MA-9 - Postlaunch Memorandum Report," April 1963; "Public Information Directive," NASA, May 1963; "MA-9 Experiments," SEDR 236, McDonnell Aircraft Corp., April 1, 1963; Final Report to the Secretary of Defense, 37, 70, 75. Cf. William K. Douglas, comments, Aug. 17, 1965.

48 See Philip H. Abelson's editorials in Science, CXXXIX (Feb. 1, 1963) and CXL (April 19, 1963). See also John W. Finney, "Astronauts' Camera to Provide TV View of Earth from Space," New York Times, April 2, 1963; Howard Simons, "Webb Defends U.S. Men-on-Moon Plan," Washington Post, April 21, 1963; Joseph Kraft, "Professors 'Boycott' of Space," Washington Evening Star, May 10, 1963; Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, 88 Cong., 1 sess., Scientists' Testimony on Space Goals, June 10 and 11, 1963, passim.

49 "Atlas Repair May Delay Cooper's 22-Orbit Flight," Washington Post, April 19, 1963. A Navy physician and NASA official, Frank B. Voris, gave the usual preflight warning for the record: "We can't guarantee 100 percent success, and eventually the odds will catch up with us." Quoted in Allen J. Morrison, "NASA Official Warns of Inevitable Space Tragedy," Salem (Oreg.) Statesman, April 25, 1963.

50 The new contingent of astronauts introduced in a televised press conference on Sept. 17, 1962, were assigned specialty areas on Jan. 26, 1963, as follows: Neil A. Armstrong, trainers; Frank Borman, boosters; Charles Conrad, Jr., cockpit; James A. Lovell, Jr., recovery; James A. McDivitt, guidance; Elliot M. See, Jr., electronics; Thomas P. Stafford, communications; Edward H. White II, flight controls; and John W. Young, environmental control. For more details on other allusions in this paragraph, see Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1963: Chronology on Science, Technology, and Policy, NASA SP-4004 (Washington, 1964), 28, 69, 184, 190, 192.

51 Quoted in William Hines, "Cooper to be Out of Contact for Most of 22-Orbit Flight," Washington Sunday Star, May 12, 1963. "3 Day Mercury Flight Considered by NASA," Washington Post, April 4, 1963. An historical novel based on the plot of what might have happened to MA-10 was written by Martin Caidin, dedicated to Tom Heinsheimer, and published by E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., in February 1964 under the title Marooned. Much authentic flavor of Mercury flight operations may be gleaned from this fictional drama.

52 See "Astronaut Insured for $100,000," New York Herald Tribune, May 9, 1963; S. Oliver Goodman, "Aetna Writes First Astronaut Policies," Washington Post, May 9, 1963; "DeOrsey Has Son Write Astronauts' Insurance," Washington Evening Star, May 13, 1963; "Cooper Prepares for 22-Orbit Trip," New York Times, May 10, 1963; Howard Simons, "Cooper Ready to Take Off; Weather Remains Problem," Washington Post, May 14, 1963. Simons also published in the Post an excellent series of three articles analyzing the late debate over manned space flight: "Moon Madness? Scientists Divided on Apollo," May 12; "Scientists Now on Sidelines Discontented with Project," May 13; "President Backs Lunar Race Opposed by Some Scientists," May 14, 1963.

53 Richard Witkin, "Astronaut Flight is Set for Today," New York Times, May 15, 1963; Earl Ubell, "The Long and Tense Wait for Astronaut Cooper," New York Herald Tribune, May 15, 1963.

54 Marvin Miles, "Cooper Well on Way to 22 Orbits," Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1963; Simons, "Launching Definitely Scheduled: Cooper Set for Another Try," Washington Post, May 15, 1963; Hines, "Atlas Boosts Faith-7 Flight As Planned," Washington Evening Star, May 15, 1963.


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