It took an untold amount of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice for man to step foot on the Moon, and not all of that sacrifice was taking place at the facilities of NASA proper. In a terrific feature which aired yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, correspondent Lee Cowan examines what was going on inside the homes of NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts — namely, the huge burdens and sacrifices that the wives of these men were making each and everyday their husbands were spending countless hours in training.
Many of these women are still alive today, and as you will see, together they share a bond that will forever connect them to each other. “I think we girls all shared something that no other group of women shared in history,” said Marilyn Lovell, wife of Jim Lovell, whose story was told in director Ron Howard’s 1995 film Apollo 13. If it sounds like the astronaut version of MAD MEN, it was, says author Lily Koppel: “They weren’t being flung into space, but they were dealing with the stress of having their husbands ride up on this giant rocket where no man had ever gone before, and also the sort of projecting the perfect American family image to the rest of the world.” She’s compiled many of those very real wives’ tales in a book called The Astronaut Wives Club. “I mean, these were the most exhilarating of times, and they were also the most terrifying,” said Koppel. “And each women I think, dealt with the mission of having a husband in space on her own terms.”
Also worth noting is how yesterday the team at CBS Sunday Morning took home their very first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program. It was the show’s very first nomination, beating out powerhouse competitors Good Morning America and the TODAY Show. Host Charles Osgood said, “We snuck in while nobody was looking.” A huge congratulations to everyone at CBS Sunday Morning, which is a national treasure of masterful storytelling as far as I’m concerned.