The Astronaut Wives Club

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

In the days of the Space Race, they became overnight celebrities as their husbands shot for the Moon. The Astronaut Wives Club.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon in 1969. (NASA)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon in 1969. (NASA)

“If you think going to the Moon is hard, try staying at home,” said Barbara Cernan, the wife of astronaut Gene Cernan.

As their husbands shot for the stars, astronaut wives faced their own big challenges. In Life magazine, they were all beehives and lipstick – projecting an image of the perfect family for NASA as they worried privately about risks to their husbands and strains on their marriage.

This hour, On Point: “The Astronaut Wives Club.” Plus, we’ll talk about the Mercury 13, the would-be female astronauts at the dawn of the Space Race.


Lily Koppel, author of “The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story” (2013) and “The Red Leather Diary” (2008). (@lilykoppel)

Jane Dreyfus, formerly married to Pete Conrad – Commander of the Apollo 12 mission and the third man to walk on the Moon.

Martha Ackmann, author of “The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women And the Dream of Spaceflight” (2004).


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