One memorable scene in the movie The Right Stuff portrays a lung capacity test. The astronaut candidates blow into a tube with water and a ping-pong ball. They must blow just hard enough to keep the ball between two lines, and the amount of time they can do this on one breath is measured. The test is done with a group of candidates, leading to an impromptu "contest".
- Did the real Mercury candidates have a lung capacity test similar to that shown in the movie, including the ping-pong ball?
- Was such testing done as a group, rather than one-person-at-a-time?
Gordon Cooper: (during the lung capacity test) Ha! 93 seconds. Read it and weep.
(notices Glenn and Carpenter are still exhaling)
John Glenn: (Glenn has run out of breath well past Gordo's time) Congratulations, Scott. Darn good.
Scott Carpenter: (shaking Glenn's hand) You were probably just getting warmed up, John. Next time I doubt I'll be the one to win.
Gus Grissom: (to Gordo) You hear that? We were competing with Archie and Jughead