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    Dr. D. Owen Coons' Personal Datebooks (1964-1968). Five monthly calendar books and "Notebook #2", all spiral bound. These date books were used by Dr. Coons between 1964 and 1968, when he was working most closely with the Apollo and Gemini programs. The books themselves are a fascinating peek into daily life at NASA, and contain many references to specific flights and events in which Dr. Coons was intimately involved. Looking at the first week of June, 1965, Dr. Coons has written simply "GT 4" on June 4, with an arrow extending through June 7. This is, of course, a reference to the Gemini IV space mission, when Ed White became the first American astronaut to walk in space. The most sobering entry in Dr. Coons' date books occurs on January 27, 1967, an infamous day in the history of American space exploration. At 6:31PM on that fateful evening, the Apollo 1 spacecraft burst into flames on Launch Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy, killing Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. To memorialize the flight, Dr. Coons wrote in his date book just three words on January 27: "The Apollo Fire". Also, he has scratched out his schedule for the few days following the Apollo accident, and written in "To West Point Pat White" on January 30 and "At USMA West Point" on January 31. These entries refer to Dr. Coons' involvement in Ed White's funeral services; White was laid to rest at West Point Cemetery. Interestingly, Ed and Pat White were Dr. Coons' next door neighbors. The remainder of the date books are loaded with details of Dr. Coons' daily meetings and activities at NASA. Notebook #2 reads more like a daily diary, containing mostly technical notes on mission details from January 1966 to April 1967. These books offer a one-of-a-kind look inside life at NASA during some of its most fertile years. From the estate of Dr. D. Owen Coons, Chief of NASA's Manned Spacecraft C

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    September, 2007
    21st Friday
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