Upset the Apple Cart

…and you don’t get a ride.

Further humiliations lay ahead, like the time Mullane tried on a NASA-issued condom — used for urine collection in weightlessness — and watched the too-large sheath drop off and fall to the floor.
“I’ll have you know I’ve fathered three children with this!” is what Mullane wanted to shout to the condom-fitting technician but didn’t. A complaint might have derailed his selection as an astronaut.

Mike Mullane kept quiet and got the ride of his life three times. He’s retired now……and talking.

9 Responses to “Upset the Apple Cart”

  1. Rob says:

    Conviction without consequence is about as honorable as no conviction at all. If he really felt the shuttle was dangerous, he should have spoken up. Two shuttle crews might still be alive if he had. I won’t be reading his book.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Monday morning conscience.

  3. Weelllll…I look at it a little differently, I guess, having spent a fair amount of time around fighter and wanna-be fighter types. Which is probably why they have the job they do and we wouldn’t want it. They will sit and bitch themsleves blue in the face about things, but knock you over in the race to the cabin door. To paraphrase a family friend who’s done a few shuttle missions himself:
    “If an airline killed the entire planeload of passengers every 20 flights, how long do you think they’d be in business?”
    But he’d be in that cockpit like a shot the MINUTE they dangled the keys his way. It all comes down to the ride, since long before Ben-Hur first climbed into a chariot with spikes on the wheels. Only a certain kind of person does that. And accepts that if things go wrong, it’s gonna be bad.

  4. Rob says:

    I hope they’re not just thrill seekers. I suppose its OK to risk your own life for a thrill. No one will dispute that a certain amount of danger is involved in space flight. I think you speak up when safety is a concern.

  5. Oh, they’re a lot more than a simple adrenaline junkie, Rob.

  6. Mike Rentner says:

    I like his final comment in the interview, that he wouldn’t be useful and so shouldn’t go again.
    I think it’s horrendous that we’ve been sending the least of Americans, school teachers, into space. I met a very nice woman who was a parapalegic (sp?) and a rocket scientist. She was bitterly disappointed in the Challenger disaster because it ruined her hopes of being the first person in space in her condition. I still have no idea why taxpayers should subsidize such a silly thing nor why it would even be a good thing.
    The space shuttle did less than fail to live up to its billing. It was always a bad idea and the fact that it was a bad idea, yet built anyway pretty much assured that bureaucracy would be rampant.
    I hope it never flies again.

  7. Rob says:

    Least of Americans? I think that’s unfair. Sally Ride is a school teacher. She is not only outrageously qualified, she’s a great ambassador for NASA and a solid contributor to the average person’s understanding of the mission.

  8. Mr. Bingley says:

    er, “least of americans”? that’s a bit of a uncalled for slur. now, i will admit that my bride was a grade school english teacher, and is now a university proffessor, so i imagine i have a slightly different perspective.
    most of her colleauges at the grade school level were, and still are, extremely dedicated to their craft and their students. most. there were of course some lazy ones who were just schlepping along until retirement, and there were ones whose sole reason for existence seemed to be the union. but i would submit that you will find such in any large corporation, including the military.
    i’m ceratinly no fan of unions at this stage in our republic’s life, least of all the teacher’s union, which is one of the most stridently political unions there is. but on one level it serves a needed purpose: to protect teachers from parental witch hunts, be they caused by supposed acts of a physical nature in the classroom or by academic problems whose cause very often is outside of the control of any particular teacher. the parents have the children for many years before any teacher sees them, and any given teacher only has the child for a few hours each day for some 180 days out of each year, yet somehow any failings the child may have always seem to be the teacher’s fault. while, as i said, there certainly are bad teachers out there, i’m not sure why the parents always seem to get the free ride.
    unless it happens to have something to do with the fact that they’re the ones complaining.

  9. She was bitterly disappointed in the Challenger disaster because it ruined her hopes of being the first person in space in her condition.
    Really? And she’s a rocket scientist? I think she took the Challenger way too seriously, along with her chances of ever being in space. A teacher dying had nothing to with, nor ever any impact on this woman’s shot at the hotseat. That strikes me as delusional, honestly. The simple fact that she would be unable to egress by herself during an emergency situation would preclude her from ever setting foot in a shuttle, until it became the airliner of the skies they all envisioned. We all have dreams ~ some unattainable by their very wishfulness. That’s why they’re dreams. But ‘bitterly disappointed’ the Challenger cost her a shot at space? I find that strange.

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