The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

Lily Koppel

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 145550324X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Read the bestselling book that inspired the ABC television series.

As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.

Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.

As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragedy began to touch their lives-the wives continued to rally together, forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.

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idea Alan was going into space. Alice crept downstairs and drew back a corner of the pink homemade curtains. Lo and behold, a carnival had landed in her front yard, only it was a frightening kind of carnival because there were policemen with shiny badges and guns and German shepherds sniffing in Mommy’s pretty flowerbeds around the house. Alice worried the police had come to take Louise away, and she ran upstairs, where Julie was asleep in their shared bedroom. “Julie, Julie, wake up! Mommy must

far as I’m concerned, they are not coming in—and I will back you up all the way, one hundred percent.” The six other astronauts backed up John, and John Glenn was still going to be the first American to orbit the Earth. When Johnson was told no, he hit the roof, but there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. There were delays and delays on the road to John’s flight, which was finally rescheduled for the following month. Just before his launch on February 20, 1962, he called Annie.

home and she’s probably had to take a tranquilizer pill to step out in front. I want to say that the effort involved in one of these missions is that, at the end, we often feel emotionally drained. We tend to fall back on the comfortable phrases and words, like ‘happy, proud, and thrilled,’ and we feel so much more.” Though Scott hadn’t lost his capsule, he had wasted so much fuel that he overshot his landing by 250 miles. Flight director Chris Kraft vowed Scott would never fly again. When

was hurt.” She explained that she had gotten a call that something bad had happened on the launch pad, adding that “nobody knows how serious.” She told it to Betty straight; she wasn’t about to try to hide anything from her friend. But Betty knew this was it. “It’s over,” she thought. The next minutes were the longest, and worst, of all their lives. The three women just sat there, trying to talk and drink their drinks. When Dr. Berry, the astronauts’ physician, arrived with his black bag they

smoky, Southern Comfort–cured voice. Marge dosed out some peppy, upbeat advice. There were easy steps that could be accomplished right away. Janis might not have been conventionally beautiful, but Marge could tell she had a wonderful soul. How about pulling her frizzy hair back from her eyes? A little lipstick, maybe even a frost… Alas, there were so many souls to save. Even Marge herself had a blues song to sing. She may have had the sweetest smile in Togethersville, but it hadn’t been easy

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