James Lovell's personal log written during his first space flight. "Yes - there is a Santa Claus."Gemini 7 Flown Personal Log Book Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Pilot James Lovell, Signed. A 5.5" x 8" book of over 100 unprinted pages between two heavy cardstock covers, each with two strips of Velcro, and bound by two binder rings. Printed in the lower area of the front cover is "PART NO/ CF55019", "DASH/ -15" "S/N/ 6", "S/C/ 7","BOOK/ 6", and "REMARKS/ BLANK PAGES". This amazing space-flown treasure was effectively Lovell's personal diary during the fourteen day mission, December 4-18, 1965, the longest to that date (a record that would stand for five years). This was Lovell's first trip into space; all of his in-flight experiences, though addressed and practiced in training, were totally new to him as they happened, adding to the poignancy of many of the entries. Approximately thirty-five pages contain his detailed, penciled remarks, mostly dated by use of mission elapsed time. This is the first time this significant document has appeared on the market; it would hold an honored position in any advanced collection, private or institutional. A rare opportunity. Fine condition with a blue [ink?] stain on the front cover and general light soiling and wear from use.
This was an important mission with several major accomplishments. To quote from the NASA mission report: "[GT-6 d]emonstrated 2-week duration flight and station keeping with GLV stage II, evaluated 'shirt sleeve' environment, acted as the rendezvous target for spacecraft 6, and demonstrated a controlled reentry to within 7 miles of planned landing point."
To give our bidders just a "taste" of the fabulous content in this log, transcribed here are a group of brief excerpts (times are elapsed from lift off):
08+45: First chance to write in the Log
09+04: Well my first chance was interrupted by CSQ requesting a fuel cell purge. Lift off was great... Plenty of engine noise, little vibration - but a definite knowledge of moving up... As the acceleration built up, the horizon came into view - absolutely beautiful - black sky - bright blue band around the horizon and dazzling white clouds... Spacecraft separation accomplished and commencing the turn around... we see sitting majestically behind us - the second stage of the booster. Brilliant silver in the sunshine - venting fuel that forms a million stars around it...
15+08: It's around 4:30 in the morning back in Houston and Frank is trying to get some sleep. The first 15 hours have been busy... [We] have had our first meal. I must say peanut cubes are going to be hard to swallow for 14 days...
67+41: I started to write but had no time.
79+44: It's nite time halfway into our 4th day. The polarized window shades are up to keep the sun from glaring in... We have just finished supper - shrimp with sauce, orange drink and potato soup - all mixed with cool water. I guess we won't starve... I can't get over the beauty of the earth from here (a 121-171 orbit). Sunsets are fantastic - all shades of blue... 0g is amazing - I wonder if I will get used to 1g when I get back to earth? This book just floats in front of me when I let go of it...
126+57: ... The clock is amazing. With daylight and night passing every 90 minutes: elapsed time from lift off is the only real measure of mission time... Our orbit up until today had been around 120/170. We heard news that GT-6 might launch on the 12th of December. Accordingly we adjusted our orbit to be ready for the rendezvous...
150+27: ... We made an unusual observation near Australia today. We saw the southern Aurora Borealis. Quite unusual - very different from the northern Aurora I had seen in Wisconsin... Our friend, the fuel cell Δp [differential pressure] lite is still with us... I am back in the suit again. Rules have it only one person out of the suit at a time... Better hit the sack. Reveille gets earlier every day.
189+36: ... Old Gemini 7 is getting a personality now with familiar sights, sounds and of course even smells. She is a silent craft... We have settled down to a daily routine that has worked very well...
191+10: Houston has called and informed us that we have passed the record of GT-5. As a bonus the OK was given for both of us to be out of our press. suits...
217+20: Counted 2 meteors near the constellation Gemini enter the atmosphere below us...
260+14: GT-6 successfully launched about two hours ago and rendezvous commencing...
270+23: ... Rendezvous a success! It took a lot longer to accomplish than I thought...
288+00: ... GT-6 retrofired and made a soft reentry this morning and we have started to have system malfunctions...
292+40: ... Tonite - flight called up to ask if we wanted to abort the mission... As we were deciding whether to land tomorrow or go to Saturday - the lite went out and decided it for us. Yes - there is a Santa Claus.
Lovell has signed this log on the front cover: "James Lovell/ Gemini 7".
Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from Lovell on his letterhead stating: "For the two week Gemini 7 mission I took a log book with me to record my impressions of my first space flight. The notes contained in this log were all written during the flight. They convey my experience of my first mission in a Gemini spacecraft that included failed fuel cells, the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft and the sights and smells of two weeks in space."
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