Other roads to travel

Following his retirement from medical practice at the age of sixty, 'Doc' Graveline has become a prolific author of medical and science-fiction thrillers, with nine published novels to his credit. His website13 gives a revealing and far more comprehensive look into his impressive career, with detailed information on the groundbreaking bioastronautical work in which he participated.

He now lives a contented but prodigious life, with a supportive wife at his side. Suzanne Gamache had lived in California, Hawaii and Florida before they met. ''Both her parents were born in Canada, making this French Canadian beauty the perfect match for me. We were married in Newport, Vermont.'' When asked if he would change any facet of his life, the smile and answer came quickly and easily. ''I would want to turn back the clock to 1955 and meet my present wife Suzanne just as I started my USAF internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital. We are a perfect pair - we just found each other thirty years too late. I would love to restart my life with her and travel my same path to astronaut selection.''

These days, Duane Graveline owns a second home in Cape Canaveral, where he and Suzanne happily spend each winter. It must be a very wistful, introspective sensation for him to live within sight of a place where he might have achieved his now unrequited dream of a lifetime. ''My entire career has been devoted to the space programme. The Cape seems to fit me.''

''Doc'' Graveline remains philosophical about the many and varied directions his life has taken him, but he remains passionate about space and aerospace medicine.

Duane Graveline
Duane Graveline addresses a forum on the misuse of statin drugs, Sydney, Australia, November 2004 [Credit Colin Burgess],

Every year he returns to the Johnson Space Center for his astronaut physical, writes about the space programme in his many science-fiction novels, and has prepared a poster display for the Space Walk of Fame near the Kennedy Space Center, as an educational resource for science teachers. He is still actively involved with KSC aerospace researchers on medical support for space crews.

In late 2004, following the publication of his latest non-fiction book Lipitor, Thief of Memories: Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol (republished as Statin Drug Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol), Graveline began working with KSC to establish liaison biomedical research projects with a hospital located near Merritt Island in Florida. The outcome of this endeavour was a KSC

funding package that was submitted to NASA Headquarters. It contained four proposals, uniquely his, and for which he will be principal investigator.

''So, after forty years, I am back in the research saddle in space medicine. My current projects are (1) the use of short radius arm centrifuge to prevent bone demineralisation, (2) the effectiveness of anti-diuretic hormone to assist astronaut rehydration prior to return to Earth, (3) use of intermittently inflated waist tourniquets during space flight to prevent post-mission orthostatic intolerance, and (4) 2 G-adapted mice (centrifugation requirements for maintenance of dense bones). In many respects, I have never left the programme.''

Despite the travails of the past, however, there will always be a certain quiet comfort and satisfaction in having been able to ascend through his own endeavours from a one-room schoolhouse education to the position of a USAF research scientist, and now a space medicine researcher. And of course, albeit briefly, being selected as one of his nation's very finest - a NASA astronaut.


As the six new scientist-astronauts became known to the world, the other nine applicants who had attended the medical and psychological evaluations at San Antonio returned to their institutes and, for many, anonymity. Perhaps, if this selection was successful, then they might get the chance to apply again and receive the call from NASA to commence training as astronauts. Perhaps ... The unsuccessful nine were:

David J. Atkinson: No other information known.

C. William Birky: Born on 5 June 1937 in Champaigne, Illinois. His father Carl William Birky and his mother Pauline Elizabeth (formerly Livengood) were from farming families, although his father was a sociologist and his mother a home economist. For five years he grew up on the farm in Illinois before the family moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where his father served on the faculty at Indiana University for three years. His father then became a faculty member of Colorado State University, moving his family to Fort Collins, Colorado.16 Birky completed undergraduate work at the Indiana University, Colorado State University, the American University of Beirut in the Lebanon, and Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. He gained a BA in 1959 and his PhD in 1963, both from Indiana University. From 1964 to 1970 he was an instructor, Assistant Professor at the Department of Zoology and a member of the interdepartmental genetics programme at the University of California at Berkeley. He was the Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Ohio State University between 1970 and 1976, and a member of the Interdepartmental Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Programme at Ohio State from 1970 until 1986. In 1976 he became Professor of the Department of Genetics (now Molecular Genetics) at Ohio State until 1997. He moved to the University of Arizona in 1997 as Professor


of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Chairman of the Genetics Committee/Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Genetics. He has authored over sixty papers and book chapters and given over seventy-five seminar presentations, as well as public service lectures in his field.17

Michael B. Duke: After receiving his PhD in Geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology (his thesis was on basaltic meteorites), Duke joined the Astrogeology Studies Branch of the US Geological Survey. Subsequently his work on micro-mineralogical analysis led to an interest in lunar regolith, which in turn would see him selected as a principal investigator in the Apollo 11 Lunar Sample Program. Duke became Curator at the Lunar and Planetary Institute near the Johnson Spacecraft Center, where he helped develop the procedures and facilities that house the Apollo lunar collection. His enthusiasm for human exploration of the Moon and Mars was evident during his term as Chief of Solar System Exploration at JSC, initiating a series of symposia and publications dealing with the human exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars, as related to the Space Exploration Initiative. He continues to participate in the planning activities for robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars and works at the Colorado School of Mines as a research professor.

Ernest J. DuPraw: Published several papers and books in the fields of cell and molecular biochemistry.

Don V. Keller: A Berkeley-educated physicist who holds a PhD in high-energy particle physics, he founded Effects Technology Inc. in 1969, conducting experiments simulating the effects of nuclear weapons on various materials. Two years later he founded Ktech Corporation in Santa Barbara, California, as a three-man weapons testing contractor. Two years later the company moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it now operates the world's largest ion beam fusion accelerator. He retired as chairman of Ktech Corporation in January 2006. He and his wife live in a desert home in the Albuquerque area.18

Daniel J. Milton: No other information known.

William G. Tifft: Born 5 April 1932 in Connecticut, he gained his BA in Astronomy in 1954 from Harvard University before earning his PhD in 1958 from the California Institute of Technology. His research interests have been in galaxies, super clusters and red shift problems. Tifft's early career included a Harvard undergraduate education, CalTech graduate work, and post-doctorate work in Australia. He also worked at Vanderbilt and Lowell Observatory before becoming involved in space astronomy in 1963. His involvement included work in the manned space programme, and in particular in Apollo Applications (Skylab). Tifft worked on the UV sky survey camera and other projects with NASA between 1963-65, including working at Marshall SFC and participating in a 1964 meeting to coordinate manned and unmanned space programmes. His involvement with the Space Telescope dates back to a 1965 meeting at Woods Hole at which he made suggestions for managing and observing time in space astronomy and discussed a Moon-based observatory plan. His interest in using the Moon for astronomical research conducted by astronaut ''space-scientists'' was explained in a 1966 article:

"The lunar observatory will come progressively. Various investigations and design studies could lead to a pilot telescope ofperhaps 50-inch aperture on a LEM truck or shelter in the mid-1970s. A permanently manned large telescope could come by 1980 ... Several small outlying sites may be developed for continuous access to all parts of the sky ... Instruments will be operated from one or more pressurized control centers by a crew that will probably rotate on about a yearly basis. A typical crew might include 'space scientists' ... Leading observatories on Earth making major use of the facility might provide 'observatory representatives,' who would carry out assignments for their home staff... Once in a while uniquely talented men could be brought in as 'passengers.' Engineering scientists ... would be needed to maintain the operating facility and basic 'technical staff' for general support. A variety of other scientists, including geologists, biologists, and physicists, would logically utilize the same basic location for their operations. The major astronomical center on the Moon could well emerge as the basic center for permanent lunar operations. It will come.''19

After applying for the scientist-astronaut programme, he decided to return to ground-based astronomy.20 In 1970 he performed comparisons of red shifts within a single galaxy cluster and found that individual red shift differed by multiples of 72 km/sec. He is an Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and Principle Scientist for the Scientific Association for the Study of Time in Physics in Cosmology (SASTPC).

Robert Woodruff': No other information known.

Philip J. Wyatt: Received undergraduate education in liberal arts, physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago and Christ College in Cambridge, England. He gained a BS degree from the University of Chicago, an MS degree from the University of Illinois and his PhD from Florida State University. He became an industrial physicist and during his career, founded the first commercial instrument company to incorporate a laser and an on-board microprocessor. The author of over fifty articles and co-author of three text books, Wyatt has had over thirty foreign and domestic patents issued relating to laser light scattering. In March 1982 he founded the Wyatt Technology Corporation, which was formed around his patents, ideas and inventions for industrial, military and medical domains. The work of WTC has included developing instruments capable of measuring the multi-angle light scattering characteristics of macromolecules (and particles in solution) and refractometers, as well as instruments for airborne aerosol samples.21


1 Email from Owen Garriott to Colin Burgess, 23 Oct 2002.

2 From papers supplied by Owen Garriott to Colin Burgess, 5 Mar 2003.

3 F. Curtis Michel papers, Rice University, Houston.

4 All information supplied and checked by Garriott in emails to Colin Burgess; 23 Sep 2002, 25 Sep 2002, 22 Jan 2004, 28 Jan 2004.

5 Most information supplied and checked by Gibson in emails to Colin Burgess, 2 May 2003, 5 May 2003, except where noted.

6 Quotes from Gibson's NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History interview with Carol Butler, 1 December 2000. Used with permission of Ed Gibson.

7 Family information supplied and checked by Kerwin in emails to Colin Burgess, 25 November 2004, 1 December 2004 and 12 January 2005.

8 All information and quotes supplied and checked by Michel, except for quotes otherwise noted.

9 Quote taken from an email from Alex Dessler to Colin Burgess, 7 December 2002.

10 This quote and others taken from the Los Angeles Times, 7 July 1963.

11 Family information supplied and checked by Schmitt in emails to Colin Burgess, 3 December 2002, 27 December 2002 and 3 January 2003.

12 To a Rocky Moon, Don Wilhelms, University of Arizona Press, 1993.

13 All of the quotes and verification in this story come from Duane Graveline's website, www.spacedoc.net (used with his written permission) including responses he gave in a telephone interview with David Cannetti; and from emails from Graveline to Colin Burgess, 28 & 29 Jan 2004, and 22 May 2004.

14 America's Astronauts and Their Indestructible Spirit, Dr. Fred Kelly, TAB Aero Books, 1986.

15 Deke! US Manned Space: From Mercury to the Shuttle, previously cited.

16 Email to Dave Shayler from Bill Birky, 4 June 2002.

17 C. William Birky, Jr., Curriculum Vitae, University of Arizona website: http://eebweb.arizona.edu/faculty/birky/CV.html

18 UPI Science News, 17 January 2006, "Successful physicist-businessman retires.'' Online at http://science.monstersandcritics.com/news/printer_1076701.php

19 Excerpt from "Astronomy, Space, and the Moon,'' Astronautics & Aeronautics, Dec 1966, pp. 40-53.

20 Interview abstract from the oral history of Tifft, William G., 13 December 1984. Interviewer: Joseph Tatarewicz. Auspices: Space Telescope History Project, NASM.

21 www.wyatt.com/company/ourhistory/ and www.wyatt.com/company/executiveteam/Philip.cfm

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