Fascinating hand-drawn plotting chart by Curt Newport, who created this navigational aid as team leader of the Liberty Bell 7 Recovery Expedition. Accomplished in pencil on an off-white 17 x 16 sheet, the chart is headed “MR-4 Historical Data, July 21, 1961, 0832" and features numerous plotting points for areas of interest, such as “Randolph Capsule Sighting,” “Capsule Location; Ship Estimate, *From MR-4 Post launch Report,” “Mercury Control at Loss of Signal,” “Possible Wind Drift After Chute Deployment,” “Estimated Retro-Pack Impact,” and “Sofar Bomb Fix (Mils).” Newport has made additional notes to the right side and signed and dated in the upper border, “C. Newport, April 12, 1987.” In fine condition. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Newport, who states: “I certify that I created this drawing of navigational date [for] my research into the loss of Liberty Bell 7…It is from my personal collection.”
After unsuccessful attempts in 1992 and 1993, Oceaneering International, Inc. and a team led by Curt Newport lifted the Liberty Bell 7 from the Atlantic seabed and onto the deck of the recovery ship Ocean Project on July 20, 1999, the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The spacecraft was found after a 14-year effort by Newport at a depth of nearly 16,000 feet, some 350 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral. Among the items found within were parts of the flight gear, several Mercury dimes, and five one-dollar bills, the latter taken to space to be souvenirs of the flight. The spacecraft was transported to The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, where it was disassembled and cleaned and is now on permanent display.