Mercury Monkeys

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I get this story from my late brother-in-law, Dr. Don Baker, University of Maryland audiology professor.

Don was hired as a consultant to NASA. He and his colleagues tested and evaluated the Mercury astronaut candidates. Their conclusions were unanimous: Do not use Gus Grissom in any capacity where communications count. They judged his speech to be unclear: radio communications have enough problems just from electronics, from weather, from distance …

But the politicians said, No, we need a southerner, the hell with his speech.

And, Ka-Boom! The rest is history.

right stuff
movie version
thanx futuredude

It’s just like the government to hire experts so they can ignore the findings.

Why “monkeys”? Don’t forget Tom Wolfe’s point that the astronauts were sold as daring test pilots while actually both the politics and the “science” of the project only wanted passive passengers: guinea pigs, monkeys. So: they were all monkeys in the sense of being test subjects, not testers. They worked for the military, the military did not work for them.

And see the obvious:

There is no science where politics supervises knowledge.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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