This is such a cool story, combining several of my favorite things (history, the space program, classic cars & Corvettes) into a single story… The Astrovette:
Gentlemen, let’s just get this depressing truth out of the way: For the male of the human species, life reached apogee for those lucky few rocket-riding, Corvette-driving, moon-venturing NASA astronauts in the space-smitten Go-Go that was 1960s America. Theirs was a perfect storm of timing (the dawn of space-capable engineering), almost unlimited government funding (beat those Russkies!), a Holy Grail forged by a martyred president (JFK’s “before this decade is out”), delicious extras (free Corvettes were just the beginning), and star-struck coverage from three TV networks and Life magazine (ticker-tape parade, anyone?). In contrast, what’s a boy of today supposed to want to be when he grows up?
Alan Bean wasn’t a Corvette man when he joined NASA’s third astronaut group in 1963. “I couldn’t afford to be a car aficionado,” he says. “I was an airplane aficionado. All I did was concentrate on flying planes for the Navy.” But Corvette fever was hard to fight off. Like such Original Seven astros as Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, and Gordo Cooper, Bean qualified for that most prized of star-voyager perquisites: access to a new Chevy every year for the princely sum of $1. (The deal had been arranged by local Florida dealer and former Indy 500 winner Jim Rathmann; see sidebar.) “So naturally I got Corvettes,” Bean says. “I had red ones, black ones. Every year they’d take our orders and give us new cars.”
When NASA assigned Bean to his first space flight, Apollo 12, the second lunar landing, he and his crewmates got creative. Theirs was an all-Navy crew: Pete Conrad (mission commander and Bean’s former test-pilot instructor), Dick Gordon (command module pilot), and Bean (lunar module pilot). When it came time to choose their new ’69 Corvettes, Bean remembers, “We said, ‘Let’s get ‘em all the same!’” The trio played around with a few ideas, ultimately settling on gold with black trim. “I don’t know why, being Navy guys, we didn’t pick blue and gold,” Bean says. “But we were busy with Apollo 12, so we didn’t have time to think about it too much.”
Be sure to read the rest of the story, it is very interesting, even if you aren’t that into history, the space program, classic cars or Corvettes.
Now, on to the links…
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Jen: Lawbreakers in a Lawless Society
Tom: SOME POUR THEMSELVES OUT SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT NOT BE SPILLED OUT
LaS: How To Handle a Petty, Petulant, Thin-Skinned, Despotic Demagogue
The TCN: GovernorPerry Needs Your Input on Budget, CSCOPE
The NC: Ted Cruz- Obama Does Not Respect First, Second, Fourth, or Fifth Amendments
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PR: Is The IRS Accountable Or Not?