Astronauts in Bathrobes

Just chillin' before going into space
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I love the readers of this site. In a post last week about how NASA prepared Alan Shepard for space, I noted that before donning a spacesuit, Shepard sat around in a bathrobe. I joked, "Where are those pictures, NASA?"

And then, last night, a reader (thanks, Adam!) sent this to my inbox: A picture of Alan Shepard (left) and John Glenn sitting in bathrobes. Aha.

shepardandglenn.jpg
Alan Shepard and John Glenn in bathrobes before the Freedom 7 mission (NASA)

The Americaspace.com page on which the photo appears also contains an anecdote about the food NASA fed the astronauts that I'm guessing is too funny to be true:

Since defecation in the spacecraft was, at best, rather irksome, these 'low-residue' launch-day breakfasts had been enforced by NASA. Leo D'Orsey, the astronauts' lawyer, was amazed when he learned from Shepard about the diets.

"No shit?" he exclaimed.

"Exactly," grinned Shepard in response.

Alan Shepard, everyone, American hero!

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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