Original U.S. Cold War NASA Mercury-Redstone 4 Liberty Bell 7 Space Mission Recovered Artifact with Patches and Research Books

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. Mercury-Redstone 4 was the second United States human spaceflight, on July 21, 1961. The suborbital Project Mercury flight was launched with a Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, MRLV-8. The spacecraft, Mercury capsule #11, was nicknamed the Liberty Bell 7. It was piloted by astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom.

The spaceflight lasted 15 minutes 30 seconds, reached an altitude of more than 102.8 nautical miles (190.4 km), and flew 262.5 nautical miles (486.2 km) downrange, landing in the Atlantic Ocean. The flight went as expected until just after splashdown, when the hatch cover, designed to release explosively in the event of an emergency, accidentally blew. Grissom was at risk of drowning, but was recovered safely via a U.S. Navy helicopter. The spacecraft sank into the Atlantic and was not recovered until 1999.

The Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, Mercury spacecraft #11, was designated to fly the second crewed suborbital flight in October 1960. It came off McDonnell's St. Louis production line in May 1960. Liberty Bell 7 was the first Mercury operational spacecraft with a centerline window instead of two portholes. It was closer to the final orbital version than was Alan Shepard's Freedom 7. Dubbed Liberty Bell 7, it featured a white, diagonal, irregular paint stripe starting at the base of the capsule and extending about two-thirds toward the nose, emulating the crack in the famed Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This collection includes the following items:
- Liberty Bell 7 Hex Bolt Embedment  in Acrylic. Inside it reads LIBERTY BELL 7 This is an original comment from the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury Spacecraft, recovered from the Atlantic Ocean on July 20, 1999, from a depth of 16,043 feet.

- 6 embroidered Mercury Mission patches in a frame, missions are Mercury 3, Mercury 4, Mercury 5, Mercury 6, Mercury 7, Mercury 8, Mercury 9. We believe these patches to be original.

- Multiple NASA research books about the Mercury Missions.

Overall a unique and fascinating collection from the earliest days of American Space Exploration.

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