Mr. Deke Slayton was named as one of the Mercury astronauts in April 1959. He was originally scheduled to pilot the
Mercury-Atlas 7 mission but was relieved of this assignment due to a heart condition discovered in August 1959.
Slayton became coordinator of Astronaut Activities in September 1962 and was responsible for the operation of the
astronaut office. He did finally make it into space during the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1973.