Fantastic TLS signed “Walter M. Schirra, Jr.,” one page, 7.75 x 9.5, Project Mercury letterhead, October 16, 1961. Schirra offers some blunt advise to a woman aspiring to follow the Mercury 7 into space. In part: “Future plans do not call for any women Astronauts. Therefore, I cannot see any good reasons for you to join the Air Force. My best wishes to you in whatever you undertake.” A photocopy of Schirra’s letter was later sent to astronaut Sally Ride, who added a personal commentary in blue felt tip: “Times have changed. (Fortunately!) Sally K. Ride, STS-7, STS-41G.” Double-matted and framed to an overall size of 15.25 x 17.5, with the reverse of the frame designed to reveal Ride’s comments. Diagonal vertical crease along the left side of the page and a small red ink notation at the extreme upper right corner of the original letter, otherwise fine condition. A truly unique letter, as Ride would make history in 1983 as the first American woman in space. Pre-certified Scott Cornish and RR Auction COA.
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