As America’s astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, Life Magazine documented the astronauts’ families, capturing the behind-the-scenes lives of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. As their celebrity rose and tragedy began to touch their lives, they rallied together.

The Astronaut Wives Club - Publicity still of Erin Cummings

Season 1 publicity still

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Erin Cummings

Erin Cummings Marge Slayton

More stills and photos from "The Astronaut Wives Club"