Astronaut wives were the "American royalty" of the 1960s, catapulted into the spotlight by their husbands, the Mercury Seven -- NASA's first astronauts.

But though they were seen smiling on the cover of "Life" magazine and drinking tea with Jackie Kennedy, things weren't always so peachy at home, says author Lily Koppel, who stopped by HuffPost Live on Monday to dish on her new book, The Astronaut Wives Club.

"There was very much a credo that the woman [I interviewed] have shared with me that was if you don't have a happy marriage, your husband is not going to have a space flight," she said. "So even when things weren't picture perfect at home, they had to look picture perfect on the cover of 'Life.'"

Also joining Koppel were several of the astronaut wives that she interviewed for her book. Sue Bean, the former wife of Alan Bean, said that her ex's missions took a toll on their marriage.

"After the lunar flight, I think sometimes the guys saw things a little bit differently. That type of experience can't help but change your outlook on the world, and we drifted apart," she said. "I became more independent and basically wanted him to not fly again. He flew two flights and backed up a third and I think that it probably wasn't a good idea to express my wishes because he loved doing what he did. There were other ladies that cared about him and I guess in the end it was more than our marriage could sustain."

Watch the clip above to hear more on what it's like being married to an astronaut.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman

    After 30 years of marriage, Danny DeVito, 67, and Rhea Perlman, 64, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20637106,00.html">announced their separation</a> in October 2012. The split <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/danny-devito-and-rhea-perlman_n_1949497.html">shocked fans</a> of the comedic pair, who shared scenes in the <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/danny-devito-rhea-perlman-separating-377097">sitcom "Taxi,"</a> as well as the <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/danny-devito-rhea-perlman-separating-377097">movie "Matilda."</a> Some sources reported that <a href="http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/10/danny-devito-split-wandering-eye-wife-rhea-perlman-divorce">DeVito's wandering eye</a> was to blame for the breakup, but a rep for the actor called the story a <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/danny_devito_cheated_on_rhea_perlman_ZoXiaae45sMmyvBLPm5L4I">"pure and simple fabrication." </a> In December 2012, the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" actor <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/danny-devito-divorce-_n_2246766.html" target="_hplink">fueled reconciliation rumors</a> when he told "Extra" that he and Perlman were <a href="http://www.extratv.com/2012/12/05/exclusive-danny-devito-on-his-marriage-were-working-on-it" target="_hplink">"working on"</a> their marriage. In March 2013, People magazine reported that the <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20682518,00.html" target="_hplink">pair had reconciled</a>, though DeVito's rep had no comment.

  • Al Gore and Tipper Gore

    In June 2010, a 62-year-old Al Gore and a 61-year-old Tipper Gore <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/al-gore-tipper-gore-separ_n_596199.html">announced their separation</a> after 40 years of marriage. The split <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/02/nation/la-na-gore-separation-20100602">surprised many people</a>, including those close to the Gores. A family friend of the estranged couple <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/02/nation/la-na-gore-separation-20100602">told the Los Angeles Times</a>, "They're pretty private when it comes to their personal lives. They just managed all these years to do that -- to keep private... When my wife heard the news she said, 'I'd have lost a lot of money on that bet.' But what do we know about the pressure of people under the spotlight? Who knows what that does to people?"

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

    In July 2011, Maria Shriver, then 55,<a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20498160,00.html"> filed for divorce</a> from Arnold Schwarzenegger, then 63, in the wake of the former California governor's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/17/arnold-schwarzenegger-fathered_n_862867.html">admission that he fathered a child</a> with household staffer Mildred Baena. Since then, rumors of a potential reconciliation between the couple of 25 years have surfaced. In March 2012, sources told The New York Post that Schwarzenegger and Shriver were <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/they_re_back_uLfQyTC3ul1NMbUbvDtUQM#ixzz1nt6tUAWT">attending marriage counseling.</a> During his "Total Recall" book tour, the "Terminator" actor <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/2012/10/02/cable-exclusive-arnold-schwarzenegger-opens-personal-and-professional-failures">told Fox News' Sean Hannity</a>, "I'm the forever optimist. So I do see that Maria and I get together eventually."

  • Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore

    After <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/13/mel-gibson-divorce-shock-_n_186211.html">nearly three decades </a>of marriage, Robyn Moore, then 52, <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2009/04/13/mel-gibson-divorce/">filed for divorce</a> from Mel Gibson, then 53, in April 2009. The ex-couple -- who have seven children together -- <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-04-13/gossip/17920592_1_hollywood-hitmaker-divorce-kevin-federline">separated in 2006</a> after Gibson's DUI arrest and much-publicized <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1545901,00.html">anti-Semitic outburst</a>. Their <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2011/12/22/mel-gibson-robyn-gibson-divorce-final/">split was finalized</a> in December 2011. Moore reportedly walked away with a large portion of the "Braveheart" actor's <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/05/mel-gibson-robyn-wife-divorce-settlement-retirement/">retirement benefits</a>, as well as half of his estimated <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/05/mel-gibson-robyn-wife-divorce-settlement-retirement/">$800 million fortune. </a>

  • Robin Williams and Marsha Garces

    In 1988, Robin Williams reportedly <a href="http://www.okmagazine.com/couples/nannies-and-famous-men-who-love-them">left his first wife, Valerie Velardi,</a> for his son's nanny, Marsha Garces. The pair got <a href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XG8aAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4CsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5616,539247&dq=1988+robin+williams+garces&hl=en">married in May 1989</a> while <a href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XG8aAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4CsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5616,539247&dq=1988+robin+williams+garces&hl=en">Garces was pregnant</a> with the comedian's second child. In 2008, after almost 19 years of marriage and two children together, the 51-year-old Garces <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20186451,00.html">filed for divorce</a> from the 56-year-old Williams. The former couple <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/robin-williams-weds-20112410">finalized their divorce</a> in 2010.

  • Morgan Freeman and Myrna Colley-Lee

    After 24 years of marriage, Morgan Freeman, then 71, and Myrna Colley-Lee <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/17/morgan-freeman-myrna-coll_n_720958.html">split</a> in July 2008. But the public was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/06/morgan-freeman-announces_n_117323.html">unaware of the divorce filing </a>until August 2008 when the "Million Dollar Baby" actor got into a serious car accident while driving with a female passenger late on a Sunday evening. After <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2518811/Batman-star-Morgan-Freeman-leaves-hospital-after-car-crash.html">suspicions arose</a> as to why Freeman was out with someone other than his wife, the actor's attorney and business partner<a href="http://www.accesshollywood.com/morgan-freeman-and-wife-divorcing-after-24-years-of-marriage_article_10701?&__source=tag-article-hightlight"> issued a statement </a>confirming that he was getting a divorce. Freeman and Colley-Lee <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/17/morgan-freeman-myrna-coll_n_720958.html">finalized their split</a> more than two years later in September 2010.