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Deke Slayton facts for kids

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Donald K. Slayton
Slayton in 1973
Donald Kent Slayton

(1924-03-01)March 1, 1924
Died June 13, 1993(1993-06-13) (aged 69)
Nationality United States
Other names Deke Slayton
Alma mater University of Minnesota, B.S. 1949
Awards Dfc-usa.jpg NASA Distinguished Service Medal.jpg
Collier Trophy
James H. Doolittle Award
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Previous occupation
Bomber pilot, test pilot
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major, USAF
Time in space
9d 01h 28m
Selection 1959 NASA Group 1
Missions Apollo–Soyuz Test Project
Mission insignia
ASTP patch.png
Retirement February 27, 1982
Deke Slayton signature.svg

Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton (March 1, 1924 – June 13, 1993) was a United States Air Force pilot, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot who was selected as one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts. He went on to become NASA's first Chief of the Astronaut Office and Director of Flight Crew Operations, responsible for NASA crew assignments.

Slayton joined the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, and flew in Europe and the Pacific. He left the Army after World War II, and later joined the Minnesota Air National Guard after working for Boeing as an aeronautical engineer. He joined the United States Air Force, and attended the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1955. In 1959, he applied to, and was selected as one of the Mercury Seven. He was scheduled to pilot the second U.S. crewed orbital spaceflight, but was grounded in 1962 by atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm. In March 1972, he was medically cleared to fly and was the docking module pilot of the 1975 Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). He continued to work at NASA until 1982, and helped develop the Space Shuttle.

He died from a brain tumor on June 13, 1993, aged 69.

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