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    "Tell him to get back in"

    Gemini 4 Flown Heat Shield Segment in Acrylic Display Directly from the Estate of NASA Legend Chris Kraft, with Certificate of Authenticity. A charred wedge-shaped section, 1.25" x 1" x 1.75", sealed in a 2.75" diameter x 2" tall cylinder with "GT-4/ JUNE 3, 1965" engraved on the bottom. Crewmembers for this mission were Jim McDivitt and Ed White II. This is the only the second heat shield fragment Heritage has ever offered from Gemini 4. Very fine with "feet" applied to bottom, perfect for display. Included with this lot is a 10" x 8" silk finish color reprint photo of Kraft at his Gemini 4 console. After the return to earth and the processing of the space capsule, Kraft was awarded this souvenir, one he certainly had earned. This item was kept by Kraft in the west bookcase of the upstairs den.

    Chris Kraft was not only the head of mission operations during the Gemini program but, for missions 3 through 7, also took his shifts as Flight Director. A such, he was on hand for many "firsts," the first two-man mission, the first spacewalk, and the first rendezvous. The situation arose during this Gemini 4 mission where Ed White, during his landmark space EVA, was apparently in no hurry to end the thrilling event and return to the capsule. Kraft was up against an upcoming loss of signal from the Bermuda tracking station and the crossing of the solar terminator. He didn't want White outside the capsule in the dark and out of ground communication. Because of a problem with the voice-operated (VOX) switches on the astronauts' microphones, CapCom Gus Grissom and Flight Director Kraft were out of contact with the crew:

    "Finally Jim McDivitt decided to ask. 'Gus, this is Jim. Got any messages for us?' I didn't hesitate in breaking my own rule about who talked to astronauts in space and who didn't. I flipped my override switch and spoke directly to McDivitt. 'Yes,' I barked. 'Tell him to get back in!' Grissom looked at me in surprise. Even in our worst-case simulations, I'd never used that override switch. Then he grinned and shrugged. We listened to McDivitt passing along my order. It took several repetitions before Ed White complied. He'd truly enjoyed America's first space walk, and he'd been in full control of himself for the entire twenty minutes he was outside. He wasn't ready to quit, but he knew an order when he heard it. 'This is the saddest day of my life,' he sighed. Then he gave it up and went back into the cockpit." ( Flight. My Life in Mission Control by Chris Kraft, pages 221-222, New York: Dutton, 2001)

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    21st-22nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 428

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