Definition of the concept of “The Right Stuff”

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The concept of “The Right Stuff” involves around bravery and the willingness that the astronauts and the test pilots had which led them to fly against the toughest odds. It was both their physical and psychological abilities which amounted to ‘the right stuff’ as portrayed by Wolfe.


‘The Right Stuff’ not only requires one to be analytical, skillful, relaxed but aggressive at the same time; it requires sustaining this attitude throughout the due course. Just as an example, if a student scores full marks in a subject, he might have prepared well. And if he continues to gain full marks throughout the session, he has the ability to sustain. Rising at the top takes less than remaining there. Willingness and braveness have a close relationship in the concept of ‘the right stuff’. They are no doubt two different aspects; however bravery and willingness, along with technical skills and other three specific differences explained above do not completely amount to ‘the right stuff”. The colossal risks and training that the test pilots took nonetheless cannot be overlooked. The concept of bravery in this book incorporates a wider meaning. It is not to face critical situations without fear. It is to first prepare oneself for the oncoming challenges, take extraordinary risks with rational checks and balances, then having the right attitude to accomplish them and be able to sustain it throughout. Many of the test pilots had died heroes trying to bring out the ‘right stuff’ in them. Those who succeeded stood out at as heroes of the Mercury Program.
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