RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Show Password

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends May 12th
The Einstein Archives of Ludwik Silberstein Auction Preview
Begins May 13
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2021 Auction Calendar
Jan 13
Jan 21
Feb 10
Feb 18
Mar 10
Mar 25
Apr 14
Apr 22
May 12
May 20
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 102 - Friendship 7 Catalog 376 (Sep 2011)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Sold Price: $4,785.60 (includes buyer's premium)


Famous, or infamous, broken hatch bolt from John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission. This partial bolt and platenut were used to seal the hatch of the capsule, was broken during the final torque application, and replaced by McDonnell technicians under Guenter Wendt’s supervision, causing a 22 minute delay in the launch. Accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance from Wendt, which reads, in part: “There are many stories circulating about who has the actual bolt that broke off during the hatch installation of John Glenn’s capsule…After the astronaut had entered the capsule I got the permission from the test conductor to install the explosive hatch…After the cabin hatch was in place one of the pre-drilled attachment bolts broke during the final torque application. I informed the test conductor and he requested a ‘hold’ in the launch count. A conference was held in the control center and I was told to open the hatch and replace the bolt with a new platenut. After a 22-minute delay the platenut was replaced and the hatch reinstalled…After the successful launch John Yardley informed me that Mr. ‘MAC’ [president of the McDonnell Corporation wanted the broken bolt for permanent display…and I should deliver the bolt to him. When I handed the bolt to him he looked at me and remarked ‘There is only one guy who knows if this is the REAL bolt’ For tens of years I was asked, who has the real bolt. The truth actually slipped out when I was interviewed by Walter Cronkite on CNN…I showed the real bolt and the platenut with the broken off piece of bolt still in it.” Also accompanied by an original 15.5 x 12 color painting of the incident, done by Ed Hengeveld, depicting the launch pad with Wendt holding a bolt, signed in black felt tip, “Guenter F. Wendt, Padleader.” This broken bolt caused the last of several delays of Glenn’s flight. A one-of-a-kind actual piece from the Friendship 7 capsule with direct provenance from the Padleader himself. RRAuction COA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.