An umbilical spring used in the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite, approximately 6.75″ long and 1.5″ in diameter. Spring is attached to an 8.25 x 11.5 informational sheet, which is affixed to an identical size board. Accompanied by letter of provenance from NASA employee Russell Clay who sent several pieces to the young son of a friend. In fine condition. The spring surrounded a metal rod which was part of a contingency method of emergency cutoff in case it did not have enough thrust to take off; upon complete liftoff, the cord was ejected. This is the very last thing on earth to have touched America’s first satellite, the Explorer 1. Provenance: Regency Superior, 2011. RR Auction COA.
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