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Lot #3057
Charles Conrad's Gemini 5 Flown Mission Patch

"Eight Days or Bust"—the first US space mission patch, flown for eight days on Gemini 5

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Estimate: $5000+
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"Eight Days or Bust"—the first US space mission patch, flown for eight days on Gemini 5

Large flown embroidered Gemini 5 mission patch, 4″ in diameter, affixed to a letter of provenance signed in blue felt tip by Pilot Charles Conrad, in part: "This Gemini 5 cloth patch was one of the few originals made in 1965. It was the first American crew designed manned space flight patch…This patch flew on the Gemini 5 mission during August 21 to 29, 1965. It is from my personal collection. The idea for the cover wagon came from a wooden model that a Cooper family member had whittled. We felt it was the best way to symbolize the pioneering spirit of this early Gemini flight. The eight days or bust wording was a natural addition. However, NASA Administrator James Webb wanted the wording removed because any flight time short of eight days might have been viewed as a mission failure. We were directed to cover that wording with a layer of cloth. Our mission completed all eight days and Gemini 5 marked the beginning of the United States lead in manned space exploration." The patch and letter are matted alongside a color satin-finish 6.25 x 7.25 photo of Conrad after recovery with an example of the patch on his suit, signed in blue felt tip, "Gemini V Recovery, Charles Conrad, Jr." The display measures an overall 18.5 x 11.5. In fine condition. A historic flown piece representing America's pioneering position in the history of manned spaceflight.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #607 - Ended April 22, 2021