Captain Jean Kathleen Trainum McKay (1924-2016) was serving as the staff dietitian in the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General when she was selected to serve as the dietitian for the Mercury Project and was sent to Cape Canaveral in April 1961. Although research and development for the pre-flight dietary guidelines had been done previously at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, McKay was responsible for planning specific menus from the basic guide, purchasing the food and supervising preparation and serving, and conducting nutritional analysis and reporting to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Prior to this assignment, McKay was a member of a unified team of women serving in various branches of the military put together to work with the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) to recruit more women to serve in the Armed Forces.
Arranged and described by Jessamyn Lloyd, 2017; encoded by Melissa A. N. Keiser, 2019; revised by Amara Pugens, 2022.
Laurel Barile, Gift, 2017, NASM.2017.0028.
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
This collection consists of material relating to Captain Jean Kathleen Trainum McKay (1924-2016) and her work as the dietitian for the Mercury Project including news clippings, press releases, writings by McKay, photographs, and a detailed pre-flight feeding plan.
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of approximately 0.05 cubic feet of material relating to Jean McKay and her work as the dietitian for the Mercury Project including news clippings, press releases, writings by McKay, photographs, and a detailed pre-flight feeding plan. The feeding plan consists of nutritional information, menus, and recipes, and is signed on the front by astronauts Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., John Herschel Glenn, Jr., Malcolm Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., Walter Marty "Wally" Schirra, Jr., and Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton. The writings by McKay consist of papers on nutrition and feeding astronauts as well as the notes for a talk to a docent meeting at the San Diego Air and Space Museum recounting McKay's experiences with the Mercury Project. Press releases are from the office of Congressman Phillip Hart Weaver (R-Nebraska) and one from the Whirlpool Corporation on their Space Kitchen which includes two 8 by 10 inch black and white photographs. Also included is also a 4 by 6 inch color photograph of McKay with Shepard and Schirra taken in August 1995.
Carpenter, M. Scott (Malcolm Scott), 1925-2013
Cooper, Leroy Gordan, 1927-2004
Glenn, John Herschel, Jr., 1921-2016
Grissom, Virgil I.
Shepard, Alan B. (Alan Bartlett), 1923-1998
Slayton, Donald K., 1924-1993
Von Braun, Wernher, 1912-1977
Webb, James E. (James Edwin), 1906-1992
Manned space flight
Project Apollo (U.S.)
Apollo Lunar Module
Mercury Project Dietary and Nutritional Guidelines [McKay], Acc. NASM.2017.0028, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives