In early April, 1960, Dr. Douglas, the astronautsí personal physical, initiated action through Dr. Knauf, the Assistant for Bioastronautics to the DOD representative, to organize and coordinate a joint STG-DOD Medical Advisory Board. The board, which would meet at the request of STG, would review medical operational plans to insure that all aspects of the astronautsí pre-flight physical examination, in-flight medical monitoring, and post-flight examination and debriefing had been adequately considered. The Board would operate on a continuing basis, studying all pertinent medical data from each successive flight with a view toward taking corrective action prior to the next flight.
At the first meeting, held at the Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory, WDAC, Johnsville, Pa., on April 13, 1960, members were asked to determine in their own fields what type of biological measurements should be made on the astronaut an don the vehicle itself.16 Both the Space Task Group representative, Dr. Douglas, and the DOD representative, Dr. Knauf, wanted to obtain the assistance of a select group of specialist from within the military services to review the proposed post-flight medical support. Such a review would, it was believed, lead to a final medical support plan that would be adequate in the light of the national significance of Project Mercury, yet would not commit critically short medical resources unnecessarily. On May 2, therefore, the Assistant for Bioastronautics forwarded a letter to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and to the Office of the Surgeon General, USAF, stating that STG/NASA had requested him to provide a selected group of medical officers to assist in reviewing Project Mercury medical operational plans to insure that all objectives of the astronautsí preflight physical examination, inflight medical monitoring, and postflight examination and debriefing had been adequately considered and provided for. Two Navy medical officers, Capt. Ashton Graybiel and Capt. Edward L. Beckman, and two Air Force medical officers, Lt. Col. David G. Simons and Capt. James Roman, were selected.
16. Minutes of the meeting, Apr. 13, 1960, prepared by Lt. Col. W. K. Douglas, STG.