Fun Fact Thursday December 5, 2019
5 December 2019
Neil Armstrong’s astronaut application arrived a week past the deadline. A friend slipped the tardy form in with the others. His application arrived about a week past the June 1, 1962, deadline, but Dick Day, a flight simulator expert with whom Armstrong had worked closely at Edwards, saw the late arrival of the application and slipped it into the pile before anyone noticed. At Brooks Air Force Base at the end of June, Armstrong underwent a medical exam that many of the applicants described as painful and at times seemingly pointless. NASA’s Director of Flight Crew Operations, Deke Slayton, , called Armstrong on September 13, 1962, and asked whether he would be interested in joining the NASA Astronaut Corps as part of what the press dubbed “the New Nine”; without hesitation, Armstrong said yes. The selections were kept secret until three days later, although newspaper reports had circulated since earlier that year that he would be selected as the “first civilian astronaut”. Armstrong was one of two civilian pilots selected for this group; the other was Elliot See , another former naval aviator. NASA announced the selection of the second group at a press conference on September 17, 1962. Compared with the Mercury Seven astronauts, they were younger, and had more impressive academic credentials.
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