Space Cowboys

Question: What are the chances of four guys of their age ACTUALLY passing the physical to the required standards? I know they all kept reasonably fit but they struggled with running etc. so it seems unlikely they would pass all the tests. I know movie rules dictate suspense of disbelief to a certain degree, I'm just wondering what their chances would be in reality.

The_Iceman

Answer: Eastwood would be out on height alone and the rest probably have high blood pressure. https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/606877main_FS-2011-11-057-JSC-astro_trng.pdf.

Chosen answer: It wasn't a matter of how physically fit they were, but that their particular combination of knowledge, skills, and past experiences were needed for this specific mission. The physical criteria would be amended in order to recruit them for that mission.

raywest Premium member

They were specifically told they wouldn't be given an easier ride and would need to pass the exact same tests as the younger astronauts. The physical criteria wouldn't have been amended to suit them so is it possible for 4 guys of this age to pass?

The_Iceman

Remember that at some point in the process it became a political issue - the old cowboys were wanted for their PR value, so physical test results would have been "fudged", if not ignored altogether.

ReRyRo

Agree that the physical requirements were a major plot point and part of the 'deal' for the team to go, but there was some relaxing of requirements and politics. In general, the answer is YES, old folks can go to space without major fudging of the requirements as was demonstrated by lots of astronauts in their late 50s, a few in their 60s, and John Genn at 77. Just recently an 82-year-old woman flew on Jeff Bezos' tourist rocket.

Revealing mistake: While the guys are going for their physicals, there's a scene in which blood is drawn and you can clearly see the tube connected to the end of the syringe pumping fake blood into the container.

More mistakes in Space Cowboys

Sara Holland: I have never met a kid who didn't dream of being an astronaut when he grew up.
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: Did you ever meet a kid who didn't grow up?

More quotes from Space Cowboys

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