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Expectations were different back then

The Mercury 7 were Rock Stars. They survived WWII, Korea and being test pilots. They were our best and brightest. Every women wanted to screw them, every man wanted to be them, every child wanted to grow up just like them. Their job was to take risks because (it was thought that) our country's future depended on it. If our best and brightest didn't or couldn't, you could be damn sure a Russian pilot would. They trusted their skill and experience more than they trusted a computer. There is a telling scene in "The Right Stuff" where the astronauts demand a window and the ability to fly the capsule during a decent back to earth. The scene is based on actual events- the pilots did not trust the scientists and wanted the ability to override computer guidance if needed.

ALL of them wanted to be the first in space, and if being at the end of an unstable missile was the quickest path, then the line is already out the door, down the hall and around the corner.

Dieing in a spaceship, in pursuit of national glory was an altruistic act. You would receive a full military burial, your family would be taken care of. Dieing under similar circumstances now would lead to a high profile multi million $$ lawsuit and a congressional inquiry.

Expectations were different back then.


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  • Expectations were different back then - Ross 19:37:27 05/09/17 (1)

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