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    Description

    Gifted by Neil Armstrong to Gordon Cooper

    Gemini 8 Flown Gold-Colored Fliteline Medallion Originally from the Personal Collection of Astronaut Gordon Cooper, with His Signed Letter of Authenticity. This 25mm medal was flown aboard Gemini 8, which was the world's first orbital docking. On board were Neil Armstrong and David Scott. The obverse of the medal shows the whole spectrum of objectives that were hoped to have been accomplished on Gemini 8. The text at the bottom is comprised of the zodiacal symbol for Gemini and the Roman numeral VIII. The two stars are Castor and Pollux, which are in the constellation of Gemini, and are refracted through a prism to provide the spectrum. The reverse has a struck "First to Dock in Space" and the engraved date of the flight, March 16, 1966. Original case included. Excellent.

    Included with this lot is a detailed signed LOA from Cooper on his letterhead reading, in full: "The medallion displayed below was flown onboard the Gemini 8 spacecraft on March 16, 1966 by mission commander Neil Armstrong. The crew mission emblem is on the front and the wording: "FIRST TO DOCK IN SPACE" is displayed on the reverse side. An engraving of the mission date: "16 MARCH 1966" has been added to the reverse side.

    "Neil and pilot Dave Scott were carried into orbit by a Titan II rocket on the morning of March 16, about 1.5 hours after their Agena docking target vehicle reached orbit. After six hours of orbital rendezvous maneuvers, Neil and Dave were just a few feet away from the Agena. At six hours and 34 minutes into their flight, Neil made space history as he performed the first docking of two vehicles while in orbit. This was one of the most important events in the Gemini Program which later helped Neil Armstrong to become the first man to walk on the moon.

    "However, success quickly turned to a near disaster when some 30 minutes after docking, the Gemini/Agena combination began unexpected movements in the yaw and roll directions. Neil and Dave assumed there was some type of anomaly with the Agena vehicle. Concerned with the structural limits of both vehicles, Neil slowed the movements down to a point where they could safely undock. But the roll and yaw rates suddenly increased to a point where they were making almost one full revolution very second. Gemini 8 was spinning out of control due to an attitude control rocket that would not shut down.

    "Neil had no choice but to activate the re-entry control rockets in the nose of Gemini 8 to finally stop the spin. Once those rockets were activated, the mission was required to return to earth as soon as possible. Neil and Dave made an emergency landing in the western Pacific Ocean some ten hours after their launch from Cape Canaveral.

    "Neil was back-up commander for my Gemini 5 flight and presented me with this medallion as a sign of our close friendship."


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    1st-3rd Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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