Lot #7013
Liberty Bell 7 Hand-Drawn Recovery Plotting Chart - From the Collection of Curt Newport

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Estimate: $500+


Hand-drawn plotting chart by Curt Newport, who created this navigational aid as team leader of the Liberty Bell 7 Recovery Expedition. The chart is accomplished in pencil on an off-white 20 x 18 sheet headed “Mercury Redstone-4 Historical Information, July 21, 1961, 0832.” The chart features a central circular area marked as “Loran A Location, Raytheon; AN-UPN-12,” inside of which are several plotting points, such as “Capsule Dropped, Hatch Jettisoned, Splashdown,” “Position at Bomb Detonation,” “Position at Bomb Impact in Water,” “USS Randolph Capsule Sighting,” “FPS-16 Radar Tracking Cape, Grand Bahamas,” and “USS Randolph, CVS-15, Estimated of Splashdown, I.P.” A smaller circle area below is marked “Sofar Bomb Location,” and Newport has made a list of 14 additional notes to the right side. The chart is copyrighted, signed, and dated in the upper border, “C. Newport 1988.” In fine, folded condition, with some light stains to the upper portion. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Newport, who states: “I certify that I created this original pencil-drawn navigational plotting chart in 1988 while researching the loss of Liberty Bell 7.”

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.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration
  • Dates: #646 - Ended October 20, 2022