When Tom Wolfe penned his best-selling book in 1979, he had no idea what the space exploration field would be like over 40 years later.
In 1983 the feature film “The Right Stuff” wowed audiences with the story of the Mercury Seven. That film is fluffy compared to the new incarnation of Wolfe’s book. “The Right Stuff” is a series now available on Disney+ and it shows a different side of the first astronauts.
The recent passing of Chuck Yeager and the creation of Space Force have put space exploration back in the public’s eye. The recent Space X launches as well as many other rocket launches capture the imaginations of both young and old.
For those who remember the first flights of the Mercury missions followed by the Gemini missions then Apollo and the first men on the moon, space has held a priority, a special part in our hearts and minds. And the Space Shuttle invited a new generation to wonder and explore space. Now the International Space Station is orbiting above, collecting information and performing experiments to better our lives on Earth.
But all of that would not have been possible without the first seven men who were selected to be the Mercury Severn and launch America into space. The space race was already in high gear and these men stood up to the challenge.
The series on Disney+ shows a different side of the test pilots who became the first astronauts. They were tough competitors and each one wanted to be the first man in space.
They knew each other, and had respect for each other, but when it came down to it, they were each into it for themselves. They had big egos and courage to match.
They were poked, prodded and put through rigorous tests, and they each held on with the hope of being the first American in space. The series looks at their competitiveness, their personal lives, and their families.
Patrick J. Adams plays John Glenn, James Lafferty plays Scott Carpenter, Jake McDorman plays Alan Shepard, Colin O’Donoghue plays Gordon Cooper, Aaron Staton plays Wally Schirra, Micah Stock plays Deke Slayton, Michael Trotter plays Gus Grissom, and Eric Ladin plays Chris Kraft.
This series is a fascinating look at the grit, determination, stamina, and inner demons that drove these seven men to greatness and into the history books. “The Right Stuff” dropped on Disney+ in October. If you have not yet seen it, it is definitely worth watching. Think about everything that has happened in the exploration of space since the time these first Americans joined the newly formed NASA. And think about what lies in the future, all thanks to the Mercury Seven.