Donald K. "Deke" Slayton

1959                                                 1975

March 1, 1924 - June 13, 1993

Major, U.S. Air Force Reserve Born March 1, 1924, Sparta, Wisconsin
BS, Aeronautical Engineering, University of Minnesota

About the Man

Donald K. "Deke" Slayton graduated from Sparta High School, Sparta, Wisconsin, in 1942. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. Slayton completed flight training at Vernon and Waco, Texas, and received his wings and commission in April 1943.

After WWII, Slayton entered the University of Minnesota and graduated in two years with a Bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering. In1955, He attended the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Slayton was a test pilot there from January 1956 until April 1959, until selected by NASA as one of the 'Original Seven' astronauts for Project Mercury. He was named as the pilot of Mercury's second orbital mission on November 29, 1961.

Unfortunately, an erratic heart rate, a condition called idiopathic atrial fibrillation prevented Slayton from making the flight. From 1963-1966, he served as Assistant Director of Flight Crew Operations. His responsibilities included directing the Astronaut Office, Aircraft Operations Office and Flight Crew Support Division. Slayton then served as Director of Flight Crew Operations, where he played a key role in choosing the crew of every manned space mission, including the Apollo teams.

Slayton continued to participate in the astronaut training program and his physical condition was monitored. He was restored to full flight status in March 1972, following a comprehensive review of his medical status by NASA's director of life sciences and the FAA , revealing that the fibrillation had ceased. On February 9, 1973, Slayton was assigned to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) along with astronauts Thomas P. Stafford and Vance D. Brand.

The astronauts began a rigorous training program lasting two years. The training included learning the Russian language and making frequent trips to the Soviet Union. Slayton, Stafford, and Brand trained for weeks at the cosmonaut training center near Moscow.

Sadly, Donald Slayton died on June 13, 1993.

About the Spaceflight

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

July 15 to 24, 1975

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the First International Manned Spaceflight. Slayton was launched as the first Apollo Docking Module Pilot for ASTP. The flight ended with the first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts. Two days after liftoff Apollo and Soyuz 19 rendezvoused and docked over Europe. For forty-four hours, the ships remained connected.

The Apollo crew conducted crew transfers with cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov. The crews also completed a number of joint scientific experiments and engineering investigations. They also tested a compatible rendezvous system and androgynous docking assemblies in orbit.

Flight Duration: Nine Days, Six Hours, Twenty-Eight Minues, and Twenty-three Seconds

Click on the Apollo-Soyus patch to read about Deke Slayton's spaceflight
in more detail at the Kennedy Space Center.

Deke Slayton's Guestbook

I dumped the guestbook because idiots using freewebs were spamming it with nonsense. If you want to leave comments, visit my blog, and leave your comments there. I apollogize for the inconvenience.


All Graphics and Info Courtesy of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center

Telescope courtesy of #1 Free Clip Art
Words by Muldrake
(unless otherwise indicated)
Who is Muldrake?

Go on to read about:

NASA's Second Group of Astronauts
A Second Group is Chosen

NASA's Third Group of Astronauts
Another Group is Needed

Or return to

Space...Not Science Fiction Anymore

Click on the telescope to navigate through Muldrake's 24 Websties

background by