Lot #7014
Liberty Bell 7 Recovery Planning Calendar - From the Collection of Curt Newport

This lot has closed

Estimate: $500+


One-of-a-kind laminated 1999 planning calendar hand-annotated by Curt Newport as team leader of the Liberty Bell 7 Recovery Expedition. Newport used the calendar, 36″ x 24″, to schedule all operational aspects and logistics during the search and recovery of Gus Grissom’s submerged spacecraft from the 1961 Mercury-Redstone 4 mission. While January and February are empty, the entirety of March and the start of April were designated for “Equip in Maryland,” before the rest of April is marked with “Ship,” “Mobilization,” “Transit,” “Search,” “Recovery” and “Unload”; the Liberty Bell 7 was discovered by a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) on May 1st, but it was not actually retrieved from Blake’s Basin until July 20th. The full month of July is marked through with an arrow, with the 5th marked as “Return?” The upper border is signed in black felt tip, “Curt Newport, December 12, 1999.” Rolled and in fine condition.

Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Newport, who states: “I certify that this 1999 Planning Calendar was used by me to schedule all operational aspects of the search and recovery of the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft.”

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