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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 18, 1962, Image 12

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Slayton's Grounding Raises
Questions on Space Program
Star Staff Writer
The sudden removal of Don
ald K. Slayton as America’s
second orbital astronaut leaves
several Interesting and disturb
ing questions unanswered.
Even granting that a change
in Maj. Slayton’s status was
necessary because of erratic
heartbeat and there is no
unanimity of medical opinion
on this point the way the
change was effected was curious
from the viewpoints of public
relations and personnel man
The cumulative effect of the
Slayton affair was to raise
questions about the National
Aeronautics and Space Admin
istration’s astronaut selection
and examination programs, the
"team” philosophy of Mercury
flights, the qualifications of
certain of the astronauts, and
the soundness of some of the
decisions taken at the head
quarters of the multi-billion
dollar space program.
Publie Interest Question
The question of public In
terest In Project Mercury—
demonstrated so forcefully by
the February 20 flight of John
Glenn—appeared to enter into
NASA’s thinking in the Slayton
affair as hardly more than an
afterthought. Personal public
adulation of the individual
spacemen—seemed not to be
taken into account in the way
Maj. Slayton was dealt with.
To summarize what hap
NASA announced Thursday
afternoon the decision to with
draw Maj. Slayton as the prin
cipal MA-7 pilot and replace
him with Navy Comdr. M.
Scott Carpenter, alternate pilot
in the Glenn mission. A minor
heart defect, or record since
1959, was given as the cause.
Change Revealed
On Friday at noon, a group
of NASA officials called a news
conference to “clarify” the
situation, widespread interest
in which seemed to have taken
them by surprise. They brought
along as Exhibit “A” Maj
Slayton himself, who was in
troduced with questionable
finesse —as being there “to
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To Make Skin Look Young
As I write this article, I can look
through the doorway and see a
■woman of 45 waiting in the outer
office. The light is good and I see her
She looks 10 years younger today
than she did a month ago. What
brought about this amazing change?
Estrogenic hormones. Reams have
been written about hormones. Will
they make women of 75 look 16 again?
Absolutely not. Will they make
Women of 60 feel like they are 20
•gain? Only in away I shall explain
Toknow the truth about hormones
you need to-learn-just two simple
facts: 1. The beauty of a woman’s
•kin starts breaking down as signs of
menopause begin, because the female
organs fail to supply enough estro
genic hormones to feed the skin —less
•nd less as you grow older. 2. Estro
genic hormones can be supplied to the
•kin through formulations contain
ing hormones.
****** (
Here is a test reported in a scientific ,
journal, one of many that showed
similarly sensational results: Twenty
five women applied hormones to one
side of the face and neck, and to one •
hand. On the other side and the other
hand, a similar preparation contain
ing no hormones was applied.
. These are the reports in simple
Skin lines (dry-skin wrinkles)
quickly dimmed or disappeared from
Bight as creases and hollows filled
Blotches and “old-age freckles”
faded on hands, face and neck. i
Skin was softer, clearer, seemed to
lose its chronic dryness, and take on
revived freshness and vitality.
All these amazing things happened i
on the side where the hormones were'
used. Meanwhile no changes occurred ;
on the other side. The same withered,
lifeless complexion.
Still another scientist reports in
iffect, improvement in the skin of
■women past menopause was striking.
These.women looked like the years
had been turned back toward their,
youthful'‘‘pre-change” appearance.
. I’ve seen this myself. I have seen
the improvement so rapid that in
just two .days wo.men looked
younger. And, what a lift to the
spirits! I cannot truthfully say that
women of 60 felt like they were 20
again. But I have seen the light come
back into ’their .eyes—their chins
raised with proud confidence—the
zest for living return —because—l
presume—to look younger is to feci
Now to select a good estrogenic!
hormone preparation, here is what}
youneed to know: the strength of the}
hormone preparation must appear
on the label. The recommended daily]
Waihington, D. C„ March Jg, 1962
jfli Ik.
—AP Wirephoto
i show he’s not sick in bed, but
: alive, hale and hearty.”
’ The conference brought out
the fact that, based on some
1 medical second - guessing, a
hasty change had been made in
what supposedly had been well
laid plans for the second
manned orbital flight. Lt. Col.
William K. Douglas, the astro
nauts’ personal physician, did
not participate in the medical
review of Maj. Slayton, which
is said to have been unanimous.
Dr. Douglas has made no se
cret of the fact that he believes
I Maj. Slayton is fit to fly, and
; should fly.
j As things stand now, Maj.
Slayton is on the shelf—at least
for the time being—and his
i original backup pilot, Navy
; Comdr. Walter M. Schirra, jr.,
I has been relegated to second
(place again instead of moving
up to the primary slot as had
been specifically planned.
This situation raises two basic
questions, which in turn raise
1. If Maj. Slaytton had had
a heart anomaly as long ago
as November 1959, why was
he kept in the program (at
considerable expense to the
Government) and ultimately
lected as MA-7 pilot in Noveml
’ber 1961?
2. Since Comdr. Schirra was
designated originally to back
up Maj. Slayton, why did he
not move up to the primary
NASA’s answer to Question
1 was that medical opinion
in the period November 1959-
November 1961 did not regard
the heart condition as disa
bling. This raises another ques
If Maj. Slayton was not
disabled last November, has
some deterioration occurred
since then? Specifically
since he was still in the flight
plan as recently as last Mon
day—did his condition wor
sen just last week?
NASA’s answer to both parts
of this question is an emphatic
"no,” which brings up another:
If he was fit to fly before,
and is as good as ever now,
why has he been pulled of
the mission?
According to Deputy Space
for the skin is 330 Units.
1 The base should be as rich as pos
r sible in moisturizing lanolin and
r penetrating vegetable oils and when
“rubbed in” your skin should not
/ feel greasy or sticky. On first appli
t cation, your skin should feel a radi
’ ant glow of revitalized youthfulness
s and refreshment.
1 An extra good buy in hormone
? products today is a preparation
- called HORMONEX Beauty Serum.
) It is made by a 40-year-old labora
i tory that has produced over 80 mil
lion packages of pure, fine cosmetics.
HORMONEX is so effective in re
’ vitalizing aging skin that over 500
• leading department stores and thou
’ sands of drug and cosmetic outlets
■ recommend it to their customers.
HORMONEX Beauty Serum is real
ly a bargain at $3.50. So, if you want
to see if your drcams of a younger
looking skin —with these wrinkles
dimmed, color and texture improved,
can come true, I suggest you get a
100-day supply now. Use HOR
MONEX Beauty Serum for 5 days
—then look for amazing results.
■ I I ■ I
HB ' iMR
A single drop
is so potent
A 100-day supply costs
only §3.50 plus tax
No** you con. conccnfrofe your bormon#
f'eofmenf on spofs that reed it most because
■ Hormone* Beou’y 'Serum is so powerful a drop
I of it gives skm ever three times os many hor
mone 'un,ts cs a •dob of cream. Wonderful
about the eyes and mouth, ©n the throat.
. The most potent hormone preparation we
know of for beauty culture—33,ooo I. U. per
ounce— equal to three end one-half 1-ounce
jars of standard hormone cream. One bottle
lasts about 100 days. Just 7 drops doily gives
you the maximum ol'otment of female hor
mones. Contoms large percentage of lanolin
, and pcnet’ot.rg Sesame O I to help replace
natural c 's of the stin ord moke your face
and Lends lock younger.
I ,
Administrator Hugh L. Dryden,
this decision resulted from "a
reassessment by people up the
line of the stresses caused by
orbital flight.” Dr. Dryden
said flatly that the decision to
remove Maj. Slayton was taken
at NASA headquarters. Earlier,
NASA news spokesman Paul
P. Haney said that the re
sponsible figure was Robert R.
Gilruth, head of the field in
stallation in charge of Mer
But Mr. Gilruth said yester
day: “My own feeling is that
Deke Is an extremely compe
tent engineering test-pilot and
entirely capable of this mis
sion. In no case has the ab
normality interfered with
Deke's performance ”
Takes Responsibility
D Brainerd Holmes, manned
space flight director for NASA,
takes responsibility for the deci
sion to remove Maj. Slayton.
He conceded in an interview
yesterday that the action was
unfortunate—“ This hurts him.”
Mr. Holmes said of Maj Slay
ton—but said medical experts
had convinced him it should be
By speaking of the “stresses
caused by orbital flight,” Dr.
Dryden raised this question:
Was something discovered
in the course of Col. Glenn’s
orbital mission last month
that shed new light on Maj.
Slayton’s condition?
To this NASA says flatly,
"No.” 7
At the conference it was
stated that medical attention
would be paid in the future to
the question of Maj. Slayton’s
ability to perform space flight
tasks while undergoing an ac
tual heart tremor. These are
neither uncommon nor brief-
apparently Maj. Slayton has
had about 50 in the last two
years, some of them lasting for
days. Question:
Is it possible that medical
authorities had knowledge of
this condition for more than
two years without having
made any effort up to now to
place him in a stress situa- |
tion while undergoing a heart
NASA has no clear an
swer for this one.
No one is sure how long
Maj. Slayton has had this
condition: the fact that ti
was discovered only in No-
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vember 1959 does not mean
it did not exist before. A
defect rather than a disease,
it may have been with him
since before he entered the
Mercury program early in
1959. Which brings up a ques
tion about the highly touted,
stem -to - stern examination
the astronauts got before they
were chosen:
How good exar Nation
did the astronauts actually
Best Civilian Doctors
NASA says it was very good.
It was certainly very expen
sive, with some of the best
civilian doctors money can
buy participating in the ex
amination. But there was
serious question all along
—reinforced now by the Slay
ton heart anomaly—whether
NASA got any better medical
examination for the astro
nauts at an expensive private
clinic than it could have ob
tained at the Air Force or
Navy aviation medicine cen
ters—at no cost to the Gov
ernment. Also raised is this
If Maj. Slayton slipped
through a complete physical
with a disqualifying defect,
might it not be possible that
other astronauts did the
Then there is an even more
basic question, relating to the
growth of the national space
program as a whole:
> If America is going any
! where in space, it is going to
need more than the six best
; physical specimens out of a
population of 180 million.
What is wrong with sending
up a man with a minor, and
well-documented, defect?
Mr. Holmes says NASA wants
to amass a body of valid medi
cal data early in the space
flight program. To get this, he
says, all discernable defects
must be eliminated at this
Has Curious Aspects
The second major question—
about the shunting-aside of
Comdr. Schirra in favor of
Comdr. Carpenter—also has its
curious aspects. Dr. Dryden
said NASA headquarters felt “it
was quicker and easier to use
(Comdr. Carpenter) than
Thousands of men, women and children I
are now finding a simple, easy wav to l
raHliJit o d «V-U!LJ >reathing ’ coughing.
due to recurring
2hit> B . ro “ ch ‘’i Asthma and Bron- !
chitis. This h by taking NEW Improved i
MKNDACO. Acts last to
bronelhi al tubes and I
Thia thick ? congestive mucus.
Si»hJi^ U 7H eases breathln « allays
Get *Promotes sounder sleep. ■
Ul “‘ su - Cheer “
Schirra who has far less ex
perience.” Question:
What experience, in fact,
has the one man had that the
other lacks?
Neither astronaut has ever
been off the ground in a space
capsule, either orbitally or sub
orbitally. Comdr. Carpenter’s
job before the MA-6 flight was
as back-up pilot to Col. Glenn.
It is true that he got in some
flight simulation time while
Friendship-7 was on the launch
pad. But Comdr. Schirra has
“flown” simulations, too.
If “experience” is so impor
tant, why did NASA not
choose Astronaut Alan B.
Shepard, the first American
in space?
Mr. Holmes said NASA hopes,
to save Comdr. Shepard for onei
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. next year.
I An unpleasant aspect of the
i Carpenter - Schirra substitution
is the personal embarrassment
• it piles on Comdr. Schirra, a
’ dedicated, highly competent
• pilot. There is no question that
s when the first two orbital teams
i were announced, it was stated
• explicity that the backup pilot
’ for a particular mission would
’ take over if the primary pilot
washed out. Thus, it would?
seem, Comdr. Schirra should
have moved up in place as
Maj. Slayton.
Impression Given
Mr. Holmes agreed that this i
was the impression given the I
public last November when the I;
I Glenn-Carpenter and Slayton-1;
i Schirra teams were announced.
Unlike Dr. Dryden, who said
the rules were changed at
NASA. Mr. Holmes declared
that the decision was made on
the level of Mr. Gilruth and his
chief assistant, Walter C. Wil
Nevertheless, it raised an
other question:
Was something discovered
about Comdr. Schirra’i physi
cal condition which caused |
him to be kept in the back
I s4*at?
NASA says flatly no.
And there the matter rests.
Left unanswered also Is how
Comdr. Schirra must feel about
being passed over; how Maj.!
Slayton must feel about being
required to voice his inmost!
sentiments at a time of great
Also, how does the doctor,
who has been closest to these
men for three years, feel about
having his counsel overriden on
an issue supposedly settled for
nearly 30 months? And the pro
ject chief, newly decorated by
President Kennedy, in having
his pilot-selection prerogatives
pulled away from him by Wash
Radio Is Medical Tool
MEMPHIS.—Doctors at the
University of Tennessee Medi
cal School here have tested a
tiny radio which can be swal
lowed and which broadcasts re
ports of stomach acidity.

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