Segments in this Video

Deke Slayton: Introduction (01:19)


Slayton flew bombers in WWII, earned an aviation engineering degree, became a test pilot, and was chosen as one of America's first astronauts.

Slayton's Early Career (03:06)

Slayton was born in March 1924 and was a consummate explorer as a child. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, was assigned to the 340th Bombardment Group, became an instructor pilot, flew several combat missions, and left the service after the war.

Post-WWII Career (02:54)

Slayton earned an aeronautical engineering degree, worked for Boeing, and was recalled to active duty during the Korean War; his work kept him close to new aviation developments. Slayton attended test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base and applied for NASA's astronaut program.

Astronaut Selection (02:57)

The definition of an astronaut was not clearly defined in 1958 and experts could not agree on the physical impact of space flight. NASA introduced the first seven astronauts in 1959.

Astronaut Training (04:04)

The first astronauts experienced a tremendous demand on their time; the media was a constant source of friction. Hear President Kennedy's lunar pledge. NASA grounded Slayton because of a slight heart murmur and he became Coordinator of Astronaut Activities.

Coordinator of Astronaut Activities (03:13)

Slayton organized the Astronaut Office on a military model. He insisted the astronauts be treated as test pilots and involved in spacecraft design. Experts reflect on Slayton's astronaut selection process.

Slayton's Space Flight (05:11)

Slayton worked tirelessly to get the Apollo 13 crew safely home. He was reinstated to full flight status and became part of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project in 1975. Later, he signed on with the Space Shuttle Program

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Deke Slayton (00:30)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Deke Slayton

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Legends of Air Power: Deke Slayton

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
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Wisconsin native Deke Slayton flew 56 combat missions in Europe during WWII, but is probably best known as one of the original Mercury 7. Though he was grounded due to a heart condition, Slayton filled a vital role well enough to fly in the early 1970s, and made his first space flight as pilot of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission—a joint space flight between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129030

ISBN: 978-1-64023-396-6

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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