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Lot
40009

Mercury Seven Astronaut Photo Signed by All in a Framed Display, Originally from the Personal Collection of Gus Grissom, with ...

2012 November 2 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas #6082

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 2, 2012
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
A museum-quality display with a signed photo of the men with the "Right Stuff."
Mercury Seven Astronaut Photo Signed by All in a Framed Display, Originally from the Personal Collection of Gus Grissom, with LOA from Betty Grissom. This 10" x 7.5" (sight size) photo, showing the astronauts inspecting a Mercury Atlas model, was one of a series of photos taken April 30, 1959, at Langley Research Center. All seven of these brave men, who laid the groundwork for America's space program, have signed with early forms of their signatures: "Alan B Shepard Jr." (1923-1998), "Walter M. Schirra Jr." (1923-2007), "John H. Glenn, Jr.", "Virgil I. Grissom" (1926-1967), "M. Scott Carpenter", "Donald K. Slayton" (1924-1993), and "Leroy G. Cooper, Jr" (1927-2004). A cornerstone item for any Space autograph collection and exceedingly desirable because of the provenance. The photo is stunningly matted in blue linen and gold filets between two engraved plaques; it is framed to an overall 31.5" x 15.5". Worthy of display in any private or institutional collection. Excellent condition.

One of the engraved plaques tells the story of Project Mercury:
"America's Original Space Pioneers. The seven astronauts of the Project Mercury signed this photograph which shows them with a model of a Mercury rocket; these men had been chosen in April of 1959 by NASA as the first American astronauts. The Project Mercury team successfully launched a man into space and safely returned him to Earth. Alan Shepard became the first American hurled into space during his flight aboard Mercury's first manned capsule, the Mercury-Redstone 3 Freedom 7, on May 5, 1961. Gus Grissom manned the Mercury-Redstone 4 Liberty Bell 7 on July 21, 1961, thus becoming the second American in space. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American in orbit; he made three revolutions around the Earth while aboard the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7. Scott Carpenter repeated Glenn's amazing feat when he completed three orbits aboard the Mercury-Atlas 7 Aurora 7 on May 24, 1962. The number of orbits previously made doubled after Wally Schirra completed six revolutions aboard the Mercury-Atlas 8 Sigma 7; the October 3, 1962 flight lasted 9 hours and 13 minutes from launch to splashdown. On May 15-16, 1963, Gordon Cooper orbited the Earth 22 times while manning the Mercury-Atlas 9 Faith 7. Cooper was the first American to spend more than one day in orbit; his flight took 34 hours and 19 minutes. Deke Slayton, grounded during the Mercury program because of an irregular heartbeat, was a member of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (July 15-24, 1975). During this flight, two spacecraft - one from the United States and one from the Soviet Union - docked in space. Grissom had lost his life when Apollo 1 experienced a fire on the launch pad during simulation on January 27, 1967."

Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Authenticity on Mrs. Grissom's letterhead stating, in full: "June 23, 1995. This is to certify that Lot #3 - Virgil Grissom's Mercury Seven signed photo came from my personal collection."

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