The New York TimesThe Lively Morgue

April 30, 1961: As part of the “American Assault on Space,” astronauts were ordered to spend up to 24 hours underwater to simulate weightlessness and “problems of dexterity.” There was also the hope to gain traction in the space race with the Soviet Union. However, not, apparently, to gain traction in the Cold War chess race — they decided on checkers. Photo: Sam Falk/The New York Times
April 30, 1961: As part of the “American Assault on Space,” astronauts were ordered to spend up to 24 hours underwater to simulate weightlessness and “problems of dexterity.” There was also the hope to gain traction in the space race with the Soviet Union. However, not, apparently, to gain traction in the Cold War chess race — they decided on checkers. Photo: Sam Falk/The New York Times

April 30, 1961: As part of the “American Assault on Space,” astronauts were ordered to spend up to 24 hours underwater to simulate weightlessness and “problems of dexterity.” There was also the hope to gain traction in the space race with the Soviet Union. However, not, apparently, to gain traction in the Cold War chess race — they decided on checkers. Photo: Sam Falk/The New York Times

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    April 30, 1961: As part of the “American Assault on Space,” astronauts were ordered to spend up to 24 hours underwater...
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