Lot #7024
Mercury Astronauts: Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton (3) Documents Signed

Air Force F106 aircraft documents signed by Schirra, Cooper, and Slayton during Mercury astronaut training

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Estimate: $500+


Air Force F106 aircraft documents signed by Schirra, Cooper, and Slayton during Mercury astronaut training

Scarce, early set of three AFTO (Air Force Technical Order) forms individually signed in pencil by original Mercury astronauts Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton, each bearing a “48th F.I.S. [Fighter Interceptor Squadron] Langley AFB, VA.” stamp to the upper portion. The Schirra document, signed at the conclusion, “W. M. Schirra, Jr.,” is an Aircraft Discrepancy and Work Record sheet, 8 x 11, relating to an F-106A aircraft, with Schirra’s discrepancy dated to March 28, 1961, and reading: “Tape airspeed went to 345 kts during take-off roll and stayed there. Aborted take-off. Direct reading IAS OK, Direct reading Altimeter OK.” The Cooper and Slayton DSs are both one-page 8 x 5.25 Aircraft Flight Report and Maintenance Record sheets relating to currency flights with F-106B aircraft, both of which are signed twice by the respective pilots, “Leroy G. Cooper, Jr.” and “D. K. Slayton, Maj.,” and respectively dated to February 21, 1961, and January 31 [1961]. In overall fine condition, with expected wear from office use. An exceptional trio of documents dating to Mercury 7 astronaut training with the Space Task Group at Langley Air Force Base.

Only six months after NASA's birth, the agency introduced its first class of astronauts: the Mercury Seven. Held in Washington in early April 1959, the press conference introduced the world to a group of men who would become household names and genuine American heroes. Six of the original seven flew missions for the Mercury program, with the lone exception being Deke Slayton, who was diagnosed in 1962 with an erratic heart rhythm and grounded from flight by NASA and the Air Force; he made his space flight debut when he served as the docking module pilot for the historic Apollo-Soyuz test Project in 1975. The Mercury flights not only proved that humans could live and work in space, but paved the way for the Gemini and Apollo programs as well as for all further human space flight.

Auction Info

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

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