"It is a great pleasure to inform you that you have been selected... to participate in Astronaut Training."Roger Chaffee's Original Astronaut Acceptance Letter from his Personal Collection. An absolutely amazing item. A typed letter signed "Robert R Gilruth", one page, 8" x 10.5", on NASA Manned Spacecraft Center letterhead, Houston, Texas, October 16, 1963, to Lieutenant Roger B. Chaffee of Fairborn, Ohio. It reads, in full: "Dear Lieutenant Chaffee:/ It is a great pleasure to inform you that you have been selected for/ assignment to the Manned Spacecraft Center to participate in Astronaut/ Training./ It is planned to have you assigned to our Center early next year. Your/ specific reporting date will be coordinated with the Department of the/ Navy. The details of your assignment will be discussed with you after/ your arrival./ Your background and proven abilities assure me that you are fully/ aware of the responsibilities you are assuming by accepting this/ appointment. I am certain that your forthcoming association with/ the Manned Spacecraft Center will prove to be of great benefit to/ our Country's space program./ Sincerely [signed] Robert R. Gilruth/ Director". Very fine condition with several small pieces of transparent tape at edges and corners, not affecting text.
In 1963, after going through the exhaustive battery of tests, both physical and psychological, Chaffee and the large group of other astronaut applicants were sent home to wait for the final picks. Chaffee, to calm his nerves, went on a hunting trip. When he returned home on October 14, 1963, he found that NASA had called. He contacted Houston and found that he had been selected. This letter is the official written confirmation. He flew to Houston for the official announcement of NASA Astronaut Group Three on October 18.
Included with this letter is a signed letter of authenticity from Martha Chaffee, the widow of the late Roger Chaffee, attesting to its origination in her husband's treasured collection of NASA mementos.
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