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July 11, 1975 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Fridoy; July 11, 1975


Page Seven

Friday, July 11, 1975 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

Spacemen ready for
trtritsr rmP 3 " 1 I atninl wouldn't like to

(continued from rage ;s
U.S. astronauts visited the USSR
three times to familiarize them-
selves with the working of a
Soyuz spacecraft. Now they are
Brigadier General Thomas
Stafford, the commander of the
Apollo vehicle in ASTP, flew
aboard Apollo 10 in 1969, a mis-
sion NASA once considered as-
signing as the first manned lunar
landing. Instead, Stafford tested
the lunar module "Snoopy"
50,000 feet above the moon in a
dress rehearsal of the historic
Apollo 11 mission. The loss of
an opportunity to be the first
man on the moon was a major
disappointment to the 44-year-
old Air Force officer.
PREVIOUSLY, Stafford was
pilot of the Gemini 6A space-
craft which, with Gemini.7, per-
formed the first space rende-
zous-docking ever. In other
rendezous experiments, Stafford
served as command pilot of
Gemini 9, a three-day flight in
Stafford told reporters in May
that the working relationship
with the Soviets has been 'very
warm and very comradeship-
"It's just like a series of test
pilots working together or pi-
lots in a squadron," he added.
"As long as you have a common
goal and a common background,
as far as your profession, things
usually work out pretty good.
It's been a very warm relation-
ONE OF Stafford's former
colleagues, Astronaut Michael
Collins, writes in his autobiog-
raphy that the balding, blue-
eyed commander has a "fan-
tastic memory and eye for tech-
nical facts and figures; does
less well with people. Politically
ambitious, Oklahoman Tom pro-
jects the image of a school-
teacher, rather than the pro-
fessional pilot he is, or the ro-

mantic entrepreneur he would
like to be."
'Stafford says he plans to wait
until after ASTP to decide about
his future, but doesn't rule out
quitting the space program.
If Stafford has a reason for
m a j or disappointment, then
Docking Module Pilot Dunald
Slayton has a right to be alto-
gether bitter. Deke, as his
friends call him, was selected
as one of the "Original Seven"
Mercury astronauts in 1959 and
was slated to be the second
American in orbit.
BUT A HEART murmur
grounded the World War II
bomber pilot, and kept him out
of the astronaut corps for 10
years. Throughout most of that
period, which encompassed the
Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo
projects, Sla y to n served as
NASA's Director of Flight Crew
Onerations, a post that kept
him close to his colleagues but
away from the action.
When Slayton was finally re-
tirned to flight status in March,
1972, it appeared he would
never get a chance to go into
space-the crews for the re-
maining Apollo and Skylab mis-
sions had already been assigned.
But when prospects for the joint
mission with the Soviets began
looking good, almost iveryne
at NASA agreed Slayton should
have a spot on the prime crew.
And so, next week the rookie
will become the oldest man ever
shot into space-51-after more
than 15 years of waiting. He
had always maintained there
was nothing wrong with his
heart, and angrily denounced
the grounding as "a lousy de-
MORE THAN any other astro-
naut, Slayton is openly critical
of Russian politics. "I think
they have a lousy system of gov-
ernment," he said at a news
conference last month. "I don't
want any part of it.

tcer~alll y 111L11U
trade places with the average
Russian," he added. "It's an
interesting place to visit, we've
made a lot of very good friends
and I hope to keep them all till
the day I die. But that doesn't
mean I have to like their sys-
tem of government, and I
Slayton hastens to squelch ay
speculation that ASTP will be
his last flight into space, saying
he hopes to fly again.
THE THIRD member of the
American crew, Vance Brand,
is also a rookie and is ,hbaoly
less familiar to the public than
e i t h e r Stafford or Slayton.
Brand was selected as an astro-
naut in April, 1966, in the same
class as many who either walk-
ed on the moon or flew abaard
long-duration Skylab missions.
While his past has been mak-
ed solely by back-up and sup-
port crew assignments, Brand
is optimistic about the future
and hopes to become involved
with the Space Shuttle, a re-
usable orbital vehicle that wil
begin flying in 1979.
He also feels that the future
of the space program will bring
even more cooperation with the
Soviets. "Somewhere alang the
line in space programs," he
said last month, "we have to
start .doing a lot of work with
o t h e r countries, basically to
economize. I think that it's im-
portant that we make This first
step in cooperation."

Apollo-S oyuz
HAD NASA bent to original 1969, as part of an Lffort to hnk
Soviet requests, the 44-year-old three manned Soyuz spacecraft
Brand may have missed out on together. The project, Western
ASTP-Russia would have pre- observers suspected, was de-
ferred that only two Americans signed as an attempt to con-
fly in the Apollo. struct a large orbiting space
Unlike the American crew, station.
both Soyuz cosmonauts are ex- The link-up never came off,
perienced in space. Alexei however, for reasons never ex-
Leonov, the Soyuz commander, olained by Soviet space officials.
in 1965 became the first man to Kubasov did accomplish the
float freely in outer s ace after first metal-welding experiment
crawling out of his Voskhod 2 in space, and is an ex art on his
spacecraft for about 19 minutes. country's space technology.
During the next four years, THE NAMES of the five ASTP
Leonov trained extensively for crewmen are still not immedi-
the Soviets' effort to send man ately recognizable oy many
to the moon. Had any problems Americans. As members of a
developed preventing Neil Arm- profession that has become in-
strong from making his "one creasingly routine, it :emaisis to
giant step," Leonov may very be seen whether they will com-
well have been the first man mand the fame of a Glenn, Ga-
on the moon. Leonov's dream, garin or Armstrong.
however, was broken when the Each of them, however, seems
Russians cancelled their pro -to share a basic attitude about
gra. Nsowthe deny theyr ere-the mission, which Kubasov
gram. Now they deny they ever summed up at a February cere-
considered sending men to the mony in Houston:
mon. "A very friendly relationship
AN ACCOMPLISHED artist, has evolved between the astro-
' nauts and cosmonauts . . . and
Leonov has painted many beau- I sincerely hope that this friend-
tiful space scenes and drew the ly relationship is going to be
Soviet half of twin commemora- maintained after the mission,
tive postage stamps that will be and that this friendly relation-
released in both the U.S. and ship be een our twonati os
wsill become more and mote
USSR next week. evident."
Like Leonov, Valeri Kubasov Steve Garvey of the Los An-
has flown into space only once. geles Dodgers figured in the
His mission, Soyuz 6, was scoring of 185 runs for the 1974
launched into orbit in October, National League champions.

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