NASA Group 2

Pilot Astronauts

September, 1962

Armstrong, Neil A. (Civilian)

Borman, Frank (Air Force)

Conrad, Charles, Jr. (Navy)

Lovell, James A., Jr. (Navy)

McDivitt, James A. (Air Force)

See, Elliot M., Jr. (Civilian)

Stafford, Thomas P. (Air Force)

White, Edward H., II (Air Force)

Young, John W. (Navy)

NASA Group 2 Background

By Cliff Lethbridge

As the single-astronaut Mercury program gave way to a more ambitious two-astronaut Gemini program, NASA required additional astronauts and issued a second call for astronaut candidates.

Although the qualifications for NASA astronaut candidates remained essentially the same as those for the original seven, the criteria were broadened a bit prior to the second draft.

The maximum height requirement was raised from 5-foot, 11-inches to an even 6-foot. Minimum flight time was reduced from 1,500 hours to 1,000 hours, but maximum age was reduced to not older than 35. For the first time, civilian pilots and female pilots were accepted as astronaut applicants.

Although this and all future astronaut drafts were open to women, no women were selected as official astronaut candidates until 1978. A total of about 250 candidates applied for the second astronaut draft, of which nine were selected.