Choosing and Preparing NASA's Lunar Astronauts

Colin Burgess

MOON BOUND: Choosing and Preparing NASA's Lunar Astronauts Five decades have passed since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the selection of its second astronaut group in the fall of 1962. Those nine men, all highly experienced test pilots, were about to participate in our greatest-ever scientific and engineering challenge: the Herculean task of flying space missions of increasing complexity leading eventually to a manned lunar landing. Counted among those nine space pilots were the first American to walk in space, the commander of the near-fatal but ultimately triumphant Apollo 13, and a quiet but resolute achiever from Ohio named Neil Armstrong.

This follow-up volume to the author's Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts details the selection and training of NASA's second and third astronaut groups, chosen in 1962 and 1963. These men not only participated in the astounding success of Project Gemini, but were an integral part of the Apollo lunar program.

Based on numerous interviews, Moon Bound also tells for the first time the compelling stories of the finalists who missed selection in both groups, many of whom would go on to other glories. Tragically, one finalist also lost his life on a day of infamy that brought the entire world to a standstill.

Table of Contents


Part One
1. Announcements and volunteers
2. Screening the volunteers
3. The finalists
4. The "Next Nine"
5. Settling in

Part Two
6. The boy from Barren Run
7. Answering the call
8. A few exceptionally good men
9. The fourteen
10. Patience and persistence
11. "Before this decade is out"
12. For some, the glory

About the Author

Extent: 300 pages, Black and white images integrated with text
Binding: Paperback
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4614-3854-0

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