June 9th, 2010 17:15

The Right Stuff

The first seven Mercury astronauts: we go behind the prepackaged, unblemished saints we knew through the media to find imperfect human beings who were actually even more heroic. The astronauts are heroes, no doubt about it. As space pioneer Chuck Yaeger bitterly points out, these men all knew the risks they were taking as they rode their primitive capsules into space. They knew they were powered by rockets that could explode them into the tiniest of atoms. There were the fierce fires of re-entry that could reduce them to cinders, as well as the possibility of no re-entry, leaving them to perish miserably in their orbits. Yet these men eagerly took those risks. They were made of the right stuff.

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