Rare Communication Carrier Assembly cap, commonly known as the 'Snoopy' cap, made for astronaut Don Eisele and presumably affiliated with his role as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 7. Manufactured by the David Clark Company during the nascent stages of the Apollo program, the cap features a faded label on one side, "Communications Carrier Assy, 165360-…8, S/N 1…6, David Clark Co., Size Eisele, MFG 0668”; the label has been marked over in red felt tip. This unit does not contain any electronics. In very good to fine condition, with expected signs of moderate use; this item was likely used for testing support and scrapped out after being used.
A member of NASA’s third astronaut group, Eisele was selected as the original pilot for the Apollo 1 crew alongside Gus Grissom and Ed White II. He was later replaced by Roger Chaffee after suffering a pair of dislocated shoulders during training and was named to the crew of the follow-up flight of Apollo 2. This mission and all others were canceled in the wake of the tragic Apollo 1 fire, and Eisele and his crewmembers of Wally Schirra and Walt Cunningham would wait to fly until the program was ungrounded roughly two years later with the launch of Apollo 7. In his role as Command Module Pilot, Eisele performed simulated transposition and docking maneuvers with the upper stage of their Saturn IB launch vehicle, and acted as navigator, observing star sightings and aligning the spacecraft's guidance and navigation platform. Eisele served as backup Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 10 flight and became technical assistant for manned spaceflight at the NASA Langley Research Center before retiring from both NASA and the Air Force in 1972.
Designed to secure the ear-cups and microphones the astronauts used for communications, these communication carriers have since become widely sought-after for their iconic affiliation with the Apollo astronauts and, of course, the canine mascot of the Peanuts comic strip. As such, 'Snoopy' caps deriving from the Apollo program remain exceedingly rare, with the majority of examples found at auction dating to the Space Shuttle program. Made exclusively for Donn Eisele, the eventual Command Module Pilot of the historic Apollo 7 mission, this particular 'Snoopy' cap holds immense appeal for its intimate connection to the early days of the Apollo program.
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