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Item 179 - Gemini 05 Catalog 386 (May 2012)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $33,844.80 (includes buyer's premium)


Flown Gemini 5 log book, 5 x 8 book of over 100 pages between two heavy cardstock covers, with two strips of Velcro on the back, and bound by two binder rings. Printed in the lower area of the front cover is "PART NO/ CF55019,” "DASH 13," "S/N/ 51,”, "S/C/ 5,” "BOOK," and "REMARKS/ LOG". This amazing flown treasure detailed the thoughts and observations of Charles Conrad and Gordon Cooper during the 8-day mission, August 21-August 29, 1965. Signed on the front cover in black felt tip “Charles Conrad, Jr.” and “Gordon Cooper.”

The pages contain the detailed remarks of the crew, including those on pages subtitled “Experiments Log Sheet,” “Inflight Copy Sheet,” and “Cabin Lighting Survey.” Page upon page, about half of the book, is filled with concise abbreviations and numerical values, each note explaining the time of an experiment, the sequence and mode numbers, and any remarks (most often in the form of degree notations). Other detailed notations include “Left roll only with roll logic switch in pitch—no right yaw” and “Right yaw only with roll logic switch in yaw no left roll.” Other handwritten comments are quite remarkable. Under a section titled “01-00-00 Cooper/Conrad Vision Test” Conrad has written such notations as “18-34-38 Laredo Sighting. DID NOT SEE IT,” “18 25 05 Gordo Saw Targets—I didn’t, sorry about that!,” “03 13+32+46 Saw smoke, no targets, bad sun angle,” and “07160040 Saw smoke saw targets. On Gordo’s side he scored 4 & 1 in the first two boxes. Window measurements made.”

Subsequent pages, detailed under elapsed time into the mission, include sighted landmarks including Tibet, China, Arabia, Philippine Island, African Continent, “Hurricane DID NOT SEE,” and “Typhoon by Japan.” Conrad has further placed an asterisk next to the notation “APOLLO LAND MARKS.”

Other noteworthy comments include “Blood pressure/cuff fitting leaded at suit, repaired by using screwdriver in post landing kit,” “CMD Pilot Asleep. Drifting” [though the crew would later report having had trouble sleeping in alternate sleep periods], and a detailed description of using the restroom in weightless conditions. Cooper has noted, “Urination Comd Pilot did not use UCD until in 2nd orbit. Pilot’s UCD had to remove because of M-1 straps. New urine system appears quite good—still is considerable amt of spillage in getting in and out of double zipper.” At the bottom of the same page Conrad wrote: “Defecation: one hell of a messy job! Pilot removed harness to make job easier. No problem.” Cooper added, “Comd pilot lucked out—It was firm and relatively easy to manage although great care has to be taken to assure each step of the procedure is done correctly! Recommend putting on urine device at the same time!”

Conrad has also noted that “All cabin lights get hot if left on—we could smell baking paint on them” as well as “Recommend F/C purge switches be made 3 position vice spring load. Pilot only one who can purge now,” “1st Day pilot removed right auxillary light and the bug eye fuse & bulb broke off.”

A final page has a detailed description of a potential crisis in the flight: “After much difficulty aligning platform (night) due No.#7TCA being out (we attributed our problems to H2 & O2 venting which causes some pretty high rates (8° and still building) we decided something else was wrong & discovered No. 7 TCA out. I immediately turned the cams htr back on because earlier in the day we had been forced to use direct (same problem) & saw what we think was ran fuel balls drift by (golden spherical balls.) We also, in thinking back, feel TCA 7 was intermittent. We powered down & advised Flight. We went one more orbit & discovered TCA 8 out also. Altho it was firing (we could see flame) we got no thrust. We checked both thrusters later after the heaters had been on still no luck. We will go all night with the heaters. Then make a night check. I feel the OAMS Htrs should never have been turned off. ”

This comment is likely the summation of a problem with the fuel cell oxygen heater early in the flight. After powering down portions of the spacecraft, including an entire fuel cell section, crews on the ground determined that there was enough pressure to keep the fuel cell operating...although NASA rules dictated that the mission should have been scrubbed at the sign of trouble.

The very last page bears the quotation, “We were drifting along by the CSQ when the radio suddenly said, here’s word for your. Your controls are dead, but you’re not thru. So here we are, for 3 days more with the end quite far.” The words were actually a song, sung to the melody of ‘Moonlight Bay,’ that Conrad and Cooper had created in flight to amuse mission control—and themselves. The ditty was penned after Coastal Sentry Quebec said the ship might have to drift for three days in space, but never performed as, the astronauts later reported, ‘we got busy again.’

In fine condition with scattered soiling and wear from use.

This flight was crucial because the length of time it took to fly to the moon, land, and return would take eight days. This was possible due to new fuel cells that generated enough electricity to power longer missions, a pivotal innovation for future Apollo flights. Conrad often called the mission ‘eight days in a garbage can’—a blunt reference to the small size of the Gemini cabin. An extraordinarily detailed first-person depiction of a Gemini mission from the men who flew it. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Charles Conrad. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.

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