Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Astronauts, but on Earth

Intrigued by some astronaut bios that didn't have any listed flights, I stumbled on a fact that somewhat surprised me - astronauts that didn't get to fly.
It's somewhat of a canundrum - after being chosen and rigorously trained, these 11 men and women out of more than 300 NASA astronauts didn't make it to a launch and probably won't in the future.
Some have left NASA, some are still listed as astronauts but have been passed over.

I hold great respect for those who made it all the way except to fly, and I am sure each has a story to tell about what brought them to where they ended up being - contributing to space exploration in their own way but not by actually making it into space.

Duane E. Graveline
F. Curtis Michel
John S. Bull
Philip K. Chapman
Donald L. Holmquest
J. Anthony Llewellyn
Brian T. O'Leary
Christopher "Gus" Loria
Neil Woodward
Yvonne Cagle
Fernando "Frank" Caldero


BrianShiro said...

Indeed. Even if you are selected, you may not get to fly. Internal politics comes into play. See Beth Becks's "editorial comments" in one of her recent blog posts. I have an unfinished (but very detailed) study on astronaut stats, including selection age, length of careers, # of flights, disciplinary backgrounds, etc. When I get time to finish it, I'll post it. The results are very interesting.

PillowNaut said...

Duane Graveline was the first to conduct microgravity "effects on the human body" studies and he also invented the G-suit.

I don't know some of the other names on here, but it makes me wonder if they also had space-related contributions along the way, even if they didn't get to fly! :) (At least, I hope they did, considering the money and time it takes to train them!)