Dr Graveline, of the Forgotten Astronauts, has passed away at 85

Dr Duane Graveline, once selected among Group Four of NASA astronauts, has died at the age of 85. The unlucky fate of this scientist astronaut, who never made it into space and is excluded from almost all popular books on the history of spaceflight, was discussed in our booklet "The Forgotten Astronauts" like this:

"Less tragical, but also less typical, was the fate of the second Forgotten Astronaut. In 1965, when Project Gemini achieved successes and the first unmanned Apollo test rockets had already been launched, for the first time NASA would not select test pilots but six scientists to reinforce the astronaut corps.

Dr Duane Graveline, a graduated aviation medic, belonged to this Group Four. He had been physician at the Manned Spaceflight Center in Houston so that he had been able to gain experience in space projects. Hence, he was a promising candidate for a mission under scientifically controlled conditions. His dubious fate was, however, to live through the shortest of all astronaut careers. He does not even appear any more on the official group photos (see image 8).

Only two months after his nomination, Dr Graveline announced his resignation - ‘for personal reasons,’ he said. There do not seem to be any documents shedding light on his decision. His official biography on NASA’s web site does not give any details, either (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/graveline-de.html), nor does Dr Graveline himself give a comment on his website.

There had been a rumour, though: Almost right after his appointment, Graveline’s wife is said to have requested their divorce. Allegedly, some psychologists may have thought that marriage problems of this kind might burden an astronaut too much to fly a space mission, so that he had been persuaded to leave the programme.

Some of his colleagues told each other later, however, that Word of God had removed him because a divorced astronaut did not match the epic tale that NASA was going to write about its spacemen ...

Dr Graveline opened a private practise. After his retirement hewrote about medical problems. According to his website, ‘Dr. Duane Graveline, MD and others have submitted over 250 articles on Cholesterol, Statin Drugs and their Side Effects.’(https://www.spacedoc.com)"