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Item 4049 - Gus Grissom's Gemini 3 Flown Fliteline Medallion Catalog 594 (Oct 2020)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Sold Price: $3,250.00 (includes buyer's premium)

Description


Gus Grissom's flown Gemini 3 sterling silver Fliteline medallion, 1″ in diameter, with the front depicting the GT-3 capsule ("The Molly Brown") floating in the ocean, encircled by the names of the astronauts, "Virgil I. Grissom" and "John W. Young"; the reverse features the name of the mission in raised text, "GT-3," and is engraved with its date, "March 23, 1965." Marked "Sterling" along the lower edge, and features an attached 2.5″-long stickpin. In fine condition. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Grissom's brother, in full: "This medallion was given to my and Gus Grissom's father, Dennis, after his Gemini flight in the Molly Brown spacecraft. It is my understanding that this medallion, and others were made specifically in very limited quantities exclusively for the Astronauts."

Less than three months after the flight of Alan Shepard's Freedom 7, Gus Grissom earned the distinction of becoming the second American to reach space when his Liberty Bell 7 launched on July 21, 1961. However, unlike the successful splashdown of Shepard, the premature opening of his capsule's hatch upon Atlantic touchdown nearly led to Grissom's drowning. Having already unbuckled most of his harnessing, Grissom was able to quickly free himself and escape from the sinking craft. After four to five minutes of treading water, an exhausted and relieved Grissom was lifted aboard a recovery helicopter. For his subsequent Gemini 3 mission, Grissom playfully named the spacecraft 'Molly Brown,' in reference to the Titanic's 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' and his own harrowing experience.

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