Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
Hearing author Lily Koppel being interviewed on NPR about her new book, The Astronaut Wives Club, my interest was piqued http://n.pr/12lDl4t. Many of us remember the different space missions that took place in the 60’s and 70’s, but what did we really know about the wives that were left behind?
Koppel delivers an inside look at what life was like being married to an astronaut beginning with the first spacemen, the Mercury Seven. Besides long stretches of separation, NASA expected the wives to personify perfect marriages and keep the home life stress-free. Many of the astronauts and their wives were coming from living on military bases and suddenly they were thrown into the limelight, meeting the president and the first lady of the United States and touring around the world.
Each wife had the same fear, that perhaps her husband would be the one who would not return. The women formed strong bonds and the Astronaut Wives Club (AWC) was born, with new members joining as the space program grew.
While it seemed unbelievable at the time that man would walk on the moon, the rest of the world was also changing. As the wives were home keeping up a happy front, some were wondering if a woman would ever get the chance to go into outer space. Others were having trouble coping with the stress of the unknown; many wished that their husbands just had ordinary jobs. The book covers the last spaceflight to the moon, Apollo 17.
This was an interesting time for women in our history, but I found it especially intriguing to read how these women navigated through the unusual circumstances they were living in.
The Astronaut Wives Club is available in both print and audio.