Yeager was not snubbed by NASA. If I am not wrong, he did not want to subject himself to being a lab rat and going into space hence he did not want to go through all the tests to be one of Mercury 7.
However, I do agree with your point on different perspectives and how do we define who has “the right stuff”.
Firstly on perspectives, just to elaborate more on yiwen’s point by giving another example, I think it is interesting how we see differing perspectives near the start of the show. Remember the part where the wives were in one group talking and the husbands outside in the yard? We see that the husbands (pilots) feel the adrenaline rush, excitement and is drawn towards flying. Whereas the wives all fear for their husbands and their children’s father every time the men go into a test flight.
Also, as in the show, who has the right stuff? Who is the best pilot we have ever seen? How do we answer those questions? Everyone has their own differing perspectives and it is interesting to note how the movie gradually manipulates us into thinking that Mercury 7 astronaut pilots are the pilots with “the right stuff” and these pilots are the key people in the space race.
We see different groups of pilots in the show, those test pilots who died after trying to break the sound barrier (those whose pictures are on the wall in the bar), the test pilots who successfully broke the sound barrier and continue pushing the limits everyday risking their lives (Yeager and Crossfield), and the Mercury 7 astronaut pilots who go through grueling tests, training and risk their lives every time they go up to space. All of these people risk their lives, make sacrifices just to push the limits and take flying to the next level. It is just a matter of perspective who has the right stuff and who is the best pilot. Just as Yeager says in the show, it takes a man of “special character” to sit in a rocket that he knows may blow up. That...