Duane Graveline

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Duane Graveline
NASA Astronaut
BornDuane Edgar Graveline
(1931-03-02)March 2, 1931
Newport, Vermont, U.S.
DiedSeptember 5, 2016(2016-09-05) (aged 85)
Merritt Island, Florida, U.S.
Resting place
Arlington National Cemetery
Other names
Duane Edgar Graveline
Other occupation
Flight Surgeon USAF, Flight Surgeon US Army, Physician
University of Vermont, B.S. 1951, M.D. 1955
Johns Hopkins University, MPH 1958
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Major, USAF
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, US Army
Selection1965 NASA Group 4

Duane Edgar Graveline (March 2, 1931 – September 5, 2016) was an American physician and NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA's fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo program. He was best known for being immersed in water for seven days as part of his zero gravity deconditioning research while working as a United States Air Force (USAF) research scientist.


Graveline was born on March 2, 1931, in Newport, Vermont. He retired from family practice after twenty-three years and was a writer of medical and science fiction. His hobbies included medical consulting in zero gravity deconditioning and galactic cosmic radiation and personal health maintenance. Graveline died at the age of 85 on September 5, 2016.[1] Graveline's ashes were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on May 3, 2017 with full military honors.[2] The headstone was added in the summer of 2017.[3]


Graveline graduated from Newport High School in 1948. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont in June 1951 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in June 1955. Following his internship at Walter Reed, he specialized in aerospace medicine, receiving his Masters in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1958.[4]


Graveline entered the United States Air Force Medical Service after graduation from medical college. Following internship he attended the primary course in Aviation Medicine, Class 56C, at Randolph Air Force Base and was assigned to Kelly Air Force Base as Chief of the Aviation Medicine Service.

Graveline was granted the aeronautical rating of flight surgeon in February 1957. From September 1957 to June 1958, he attended Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he received his master's degree in Public Health.

He then attended the Aerospace Medical residency at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, completing his residency training in July 1960 at Brooks Air Force Base and receiving his specialty certification by the American Board in Preventative Medicine. At that time he was assigned to the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory as research scientist with special interest in prolonged weightlessness deconditioning and countermeasures. In July 1962, he returned to Brooks Air Force Base where he continued his research, served as intelligence analyst for Soviet bioastronautics and was active as a NASA flight controller for the Mercury and Gemini missions.

Graveline authored ten professional publications and reports on biological deconditioning and weightlessness countermeasures. His research involved bed rest and water immersion to study deconditioning. While in the USAF he did the original research on both the extremity tourniquet and the prototype lower body negative pressure device for use in prolonged zero gravity missions. NASA's operational lower body negative pressure device has seen use in the Soviet MIR, as well as on the shuttle and station research. His 2004 research on space medicine was studying the effect of galactic "heavies" in the brains of mice, using iron ions and NASA's linear accelerator at Brookhaven, NY.

In June 1965, Graveline was selected with NASA's first group of scientist astronauts and assigned to Williams Air Force Base for jet pilot training. He resigned on August 18, 1965, prior to being assigned to a mission.[1] Although this was ascribed to "personal reasons," it was later disclosed in Deke Slayton's memoir that Graveline resigned due to his impending divorce. According to Slayton, "The program didn't need a scandal. A messy divorce meant a quick ticket back to wherever you came from."[1] His wife Carol had stated in the court papers that her husband had "violent and ungovernable outbursts of temper."[5] Upon his resignation Graveline stayed with NASA for three months as a doctor in Houston before returning to civilian life. Graveline practiced medicine as a family doctor in Burlington, Vermont, during which time he also served as a flight surgeon for the Vermont Army National Guard. Upon his retirement at age sixty, Graveline became a writer of medical and science fiction thrillers with 15 novels to his credit. Graveline married a total of six times.[5]

Following his experience with cholesterol drug side effects, Graveline became a critic of the use of statins to treat high cholesterol levels. While on Lipitor, Graveline developed transient global amnesia and could not recognize his family. He slowly recovered after stopping this medication. NASA physicians then prescribed half the dose, but the amnesia returned.[6]


Graveline wrote four books in support of his statin drug research: Lipitor, Thief of Memory (2006),[7] Statin Drugs Side Effects (2006)[8] The Statin Damage Crisis (2010)[9] and his final book The Dark Side of Statins (2017).[10] His criticisms include the important role of cholesterol in the metabolic pathways in the brain and its proper functioning, including mediating the formation of new synapses.

He referred to clinical trials and studies whose data showed that statins have negligible impact on heart disease in primary patients (i.e., those who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease) yet increase their mortality overall from all causes.

He had no associations with pharmaceutical companies, received no grants or funding from them or other state bodies.[citation needed]
[clarification needed] He has corresponded/collaborated[citation needed] with Scottish doctor Malcolm Kendrick who, in his book The Great Cholesterol Con,[11] quotes data from trials and the World Health Organization (WHO) data to show that statins do not increase life expectancy overall, do not prevent heart disease in patients without cardiovascular symptoms. The book states that widely varying levels of cholesterol are inversely correlated with deaths from heart disease. Higher levels are also inversely correlated with cancer mortality. That is, within a reasonable range,[clarification needed] higher total cholesterol is associated with lower cancer mortality.

Graveline was a contributor to the book NASA's Scientist-Astronauts by David Shayler and Colin Burgess.


  1. ^ a b c "Duane 'Doc' Graveline, scientist-astronaut dies at 85". collectSPACE. September 6, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Dr. Duane Graveline - Arlington National Cemetery". spacedoc.com.
  3. ^ "Dr Duane Graveline - Arlington National Cemetery - Headstone". spacedoc.com.
  4. ^ "Duane Graveline NASA Biography". NASA. September 1999. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Schwartz, John (2016-09-17). "Duane Graveline, Doctor Who Was Forced Out as an Astronaut, Dies at 85". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  6. ^ Graveline, Duane (July 2011). "Lipitor - Thief of Memory". spacedoc.com.
  7. ^ Graveline, Duane; McCully, Kilmer S.; Cohen, Jay S. (2006-11-01). Lipitor Thief of Memory (1st ed.). United States: Duane Graveline, M.D. ISBN 9781424301621.
  8. ^ Graveline, Duane (2008-05-21). Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol (1st ed.). United States: Duane Graveline MD MPH. ISBN 9780970081797.
  9. ^ Graveline, Duane (2014-07-23). The Statin Damage Crisis. Spacedoc Media LLC. ISBN 9780983383550.
  10. ^ Graveline, Duane (2017-08-16). The Dark Side of Statins: Plus: The Wonder of Cholesterol. Spacedoc Media, LLC. ISBN 9780983383512.
  11. ^ Kendrick, Dr Malcolm (2007-01-01). The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It. London: John Blake. ISBN 9781844543601.

External links[edit]

This article incorporates text from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/graveline-de.html, which is a webpage by NASA. NASA policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted."