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Introduce Yourself 
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
beamjockey wrote:
ChuckA wrote:
I spent 5 years in the Air Force as a pilot and got a job with McDonnell Aircraft writing Pilot’s Handbooks. While at McDonnell, I was loaned to Project Mercury to write the Astronaut’s Handbook for the Mercury capsule so my interest in flying and space travel finally paid off.

(To reply belatedly...)

I'll bet Heinlein, had he known you at the time, would have wished HE had that job.

Googling suggests that the document is SEDR 109, "Project Mercury NASA Capsule Flight Operations Manual," one version of which may be downloaded at:
http://cdnetworks-us-1.dl.sourceforge.net/project/mscorbaddon/Research/Mercury%20MR-3/MR3_FlightOps.pdf

Is this correct?


Yes. I wrote this version just before I left McDonnell to return to college. The first one I wrote was delivered in June, 1960 along with the Mercury Procedures trainer and covered the Atlas Orbital mission. As soon as it was finished, I edited it down to cover the the Redstone suborbital missions. Not long after the initial handbook was released, Alan Shepard and Gus Grisson came by and discussed changes needed for the suborbital mission. NASA says that the astronaut selection for the first suborbital missions weren't made until just before launch but I found it interesting that both astronauts selected for the suborbital missions suddenly became interested in that version almost a year before Shepards first launch.

I have the proof copy of the first Astronaut's handbook and got Shepard to autograph it for me during a visit to Huntsville in about 1990. I was on loan to the Mercury team from the pilot's handbook section and was scheduled to go back to that section after finished the Redstone handbook. I had only two years of college before going into the AF so decided that it was a good time to go back and finish my Aero engineering degree. About the time I finished the Redstone manual, I was ask if I would be interested in become one of the Cape Canerval Mercury support team. The most difficult decision I ever made was to go back to college but I new that if I didn't go back then, I never would. I did go back and get my degree and wound up conducting wind tunnel test on the Genimi capsule, Saturn V Apollo launch configuration, and the Space Shuttle launch configuration.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
ChuckA wrote:
I have the proof copy of the first Astronaut's handbook and got Shepard to autograph it for me during a visit to Huntsville in about 1990. I was on loan to the Mercury team from the pilot's handbook section and was scheduled to go back to that section after finished the Redstone handbook. I had only two years of college before going into the AF so decided that it was a good time to go back and finish my Aero engineering degree. About the time I finished the Redstone manual, I was ask if I would be interested in become one of the Cape Canerval Mercury support team. The most difficult decision I ever made was to go back to college but I new that if I didn't go back then, I never would. I did go back and get my degree and wound up conducting wind tunnel test on the Genimi capsule, Saturn V Apollo launch configuration, and the Space Shuttle launch configuration.
I'll keep you in mind when the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom 7 flight about ten days from now-- 5 May. It must have been thrilling to be involved in making history. The rest of us (those who were born by then, at least) could only watch the launches on TV and hold our breath. You and your colleagues can be very proud of what you all achieved.

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Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:27 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
ChuckA wrote:
beamjockey wrote:
ChuckA wrote:
I spent 5 years in the Air Force as a pilot and got a job with McDonnell Aircraft writing Pilot’s Handbooks. While at McDonnell, I was loaned to Project Mercury to write the Astronaut’s Handbook for the Mercury capsule so my interest in flying and space travel finally paid off.

(To reply belatedly...)

I'll bet Heinlein, had he known you at the time, would have wished HE had that job.

Googling suggests that the document is SEDR 109, "Project Mercury NASA Capsule Flight Operations Manual," one version of which may be downloaded at:
http://cdnetworks-us-1.dl.sourceforge.net/project/mscorbaddon/Research/Mercury%20MR-3/MR3_FlightOps.pdf

Is this correct?


Yes. I wrote this version just before I left McDonnell to return to college. The first one I wrote was delivered in June, 1960 along with the Mercury Procedures trainer and covered the Atlas Orbital mission. As soon as it was finished, I edited it down to cover the the Redstone suborbital missions. Not long after the initial handbook was released, Alan Shepard and Gus Grisson came by and discussed changes needed for the suborbital mission. NASA says that the astronaut selection for the first suborbital missions weren't made until just before launch but I found it interesting that both astronauts selected for the suborbital missions suddenly became interested in that version almost a year before Shepards first launch.

I have the proof copy of the first Astronaut's handbook and got Shepard to autograph it for me during a visit to Huntsville in about 1990. I was on loan to the Mercury team from the pilot's handbook section and was scheduled to go back to that section after finished the Redstone handbook. I had only two years of college before going into the AF so decided that it was a good time to go back and finish my Aero engineering degree. About the time I finished the Redstone manual, I was ask if I would be interested in become one of the Cape Canerval Mercury support team. The most difficult decision I ever made was to go back to college but I new that if I didn't go back then, I never would. I did go back and get my degree and wound up conducting wind tunnel test on the Genimi capsule, Saturn V Apollo launch configuration, and the Space Shuttle launch configuration.


I have nothing to add except - that is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:01 am
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
For me, the link brings up a SourceForge page that claims to be downloading a document called Meadville Space Center (Orbiter Add-ons), but after a few seconds, I see only a blank page, in either Firefox or Internet Explorer.

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Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:17 am
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
There are a number of mirrors. Try

http://softlayer.dl.sourceforge.net/pro ... ghtOps.pdf

or

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/projec ... uperb-sea2


Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:37 am
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
Thank you, Peter! The second mirror link worked for me.

Gus Grissom's younger son Scott was one of my flight instructors, so I'm a bit more nostalgic about the Mercury program than I might otherwise be.

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Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:21 am
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
DanHenderson wrote:
Thank you, Peter! The second mirror link worked for me.

Gus Grissom's younger son Scott was one of my flight instructors, so I'm a bit more nostalgic about the Mercury program than I might otherwise be.


Gus was also my favorite Astronaut. While I met all seven of the Mercury astronauts, only he and Alan Shepard came to my office at McDonnell Aircraft to discuss procedures with me. I was also disgusted with the way he was described in the misnamed movie, The Right Stuff. It should have been named the Wrong Stuff because of the very large number of gross errors it contained. The list of gross errors is too long to list but the first thing I noticed in the movie was Chuck Yager breaking the sound barrier in the clouds.

Chuck Anderson


Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
ChuckA wrote:
It should have been named the Wrong Stuff because of the very large number of gross errors it contained.


I was just reading William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade from about 30 years ago, the chapter about his time writing a Right Stuff screenplay before Phil Kaufman (the eventual director) took on the script as well, whereupon Goldman quit. From other parts of the book, I infer that Goldman would have been more careful about his research. There were also political differences in his and Kaufman's approaches to the story, and structural differences as well (Goldman wanted to focus on the Mercury astronauts' achievements and cut the Yeager segment entirely).


Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
ChuckA wrote:
DanHenderson wrote:
Thank you, Peter! The second mirror link worked for me.

Gus Grissom's younger son Scott was one of my flight instructors, so I'm a bit more nostalgic about the Mercury program than I might otherwise be.


Gus was also my favorite Astronaut. While I met all seven of the Mercury astronauts, only he and Alan Shepard came to my office at McDonnell Aircraft to discuss procedures with me. I was also disgusted with the way he was described in the misnamed movie, The Right Stuff. It should have been named the Wrong Stuff because of the very large number of gross errors it contained. The list of gross errors is too long to list but the first thing I noticed in the movie was Chuck Yager breaking the sound barrier in the clouds.

Chuck Anderson


The only Mercury astronaut I met was Alan Shepherd when I served jury duty with him in Houston in the early 80s.

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Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Introduce Yourself
I had an interesting conversation in the cafeteria after his lecture, along with several students, with Jim Irwin in the late 70's when he came to the college where I was teaching.

My biggest celebrity encounter was having a beer with Willy Ley in the late 50's when I was an undergraduate. I didn't know then that he and Heinlein were so close, otherwise, I would have pestered him all evening about RAH.


Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:36 pm
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