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.

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