DescriptionMercury Seven Astronauts: Photo Signed by Six (Missing Schirra), Originally from the Personal Collection of Dr. Shirley Thomas. A 10" x 8" B&W matte-finish photo picturing the first seven astronauts chosen by NASA for their Man in Space project. This photo showing the astronauts inspecting a Mercury Atlas model was one of a series of photos taken at Langley Research Center in 1959. Six of the seven brave men, who laid the groundwork for America's space program, have signed in the wide lower margin with early forms of their signatures: "Alan B Shepard Jr.", "John H. Glenn, Jr.", "Virgil I. Grissom", "M. Scott Carpenter", "Donald K. Slayton", and "Leroy G. Cooper, Jr". It is inscribed at the top left: "To Shirley". We note upon close examination that there is a definite indentation of a Schirra signature between the Shepard and Glenn. It seems possible that he signed the photo just above this one and somehow missed signing this one, or that he did sign it but his signature faded away completely. Some minor waviness, overall fine.
Dr. Shirley Thomas (1920-2005) was a prominent figure in the early days of the U.S. space program and a woman of many talents: actress, writer, producer, author, consultant, and professor. She wrote the early eight-volume Men of Space book series in the 1960s as well as several other books and numerous technical papers. Dr. Thomas founded and chaired the Aerospace Historical Society, an organization that for many years presented the international Von Karman Wings award to outstanding contributors to the world of aerospace. Included with this lot are two printed articles regarding her contributions to aerospace and advanced learning.
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