Hectic Diary

This training programme was developed primarily for the 1966 pilot-astronaut selection, with the members of the 1965 scientist-astronaut group participating in two phases. As they were already jet qualified, Kerwin and Michel participated in the programme from the beginning (May 1966), while the other three (Garriott, Gibson and Schmitt) joined in August 1966, three months into the syllabus. A review of Curt Michel's files for the period shows a hectic diary for the period 2 May-29 August 1966. In a scheduling matrix of these first seventeen weeks of training, Michel records only ten free days (excluding weekends), of which five were scheduled for him to work at Rice University. In the following forty weeks (5 September 1966-27 August 1967), there were only seventy-seven days free (excluding weekends), from which he had to fit in his work at Rice University and the seasonal holidays during an academic year.

In his 2000 Oral History, Garriott recalled: "When we came back [from flight school], the Gemini program was nearing completion, so we began to work on whatever needed to be done to provide assistance to the flight crews getting ready for Apollo. Then the early stages of the Skylab (then called Apollo Applications Program) came into existence, so we began to spend time thinking about how AAP should be run, the configuration that should be used and how it should be flown. We had a number of really fascinating trips... a lot of geology training that just had to be done, and survival training. Occasionally over the course of the next ten years, there would be refresher courses that needed to be taken. There were a number of very useful geology courses all over the world related to the geology of the Moon and they took up a fair amount of time; all of which we certainly enjoyed and I felt was to our personal advantage to have the opportunity to participate in all that.''14

At the same time as the scientist group participated in the academic and survival training, they received technical assignments in the CB that they hoped would lead to being named to a flight crew, though it soon became clear that this would not be for some time.


1 Owen Garriott email correspondence with Colin Burgess, 31 January 2004, 2 February 2004.

2 Ed Gibson email correspondence with Colin Burgess, 2 April 2003.

3 Ed Gibson, JSC Oral History transcript, interview 1 December 2000.

4 Joe Kerwin, JSC Oral History transcript, interview 12 May 2000.

5 Duane Graveline email correspondence with Colin Burgess, 28 and 29 Jan 2004.

6 Jack Schmitt, JSC Oral History transcript, interview 14 July 1999.

7 Joe Kerwin email to Colin Burgess, 12 January 2005.

8 Curt Michel's Rice University papers, previously cited.

9 Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab by W. David Compton and Charles D. Benson, NASA SP-4208, Washington, DC, 1983.

10 Project Apollo Flight Crew General Training Plan, prepared by Raymond G. Zedekar, Assistant Chief for Crew Training, Flight Crew Support Division, NASA MSC, Houston, Texas. MSC Internal note no 66-CF-1, undated (1966), Curt Michel Collection, Rice University, Houston, Texas, copy on file AIS Archives.

11 Undated CB Memo - CM and LEM Controls and Displays Familiarisation, Curt Michel collection, Rice University, copy in AIS Archives.

12 Centrifuge Training, CB Memo from Raymond Zedekar, CF3-6M-173, dated 27 October 1966, Curt Michel collection, Rice University, copy on file AIS archives.

13 DCPS schedule undated CB Memo, Curt Michel Collection, Rice University, copy on file AIS Archives.

14 Owen Garriott, JSC Oral History transcript, 6 November 2000, pp. 10-11.

Additional information on the Group 5 training syllabus that included the Group 4 scientist-

astronauts was supplied by Jerry Carr.

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