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Unidentified Photographer

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American & European Works of Art - 3048M
Date / Time :
November 02, 2017 10:00AM


Unidentified Photographer
Two photographs depicting the unsuccessful recovery of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft piloted by Virgil "Gus" Grissom during the second American suborbital flight, Mercury-Redstone 4, July 1961. NASA caption on the verso of one print. Two vintage gelatin silver prints, image sizes to 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (24.0 x 18.9 cm), unmatted.
Condition: Handling creases.

N.B. Mercury capsule #11 was named Liberty Bell 7 and piloted by Virgil "Gus" Grissom, who is helped into the capsule by fellow astronaut John Glenn (first image). 'From lift-off to re-entry, operational sequences were similar to those of the first manned suborbital flight and Grissom's flight experience was similar to Shepard's in that there was a five minute period of weightlessness. The main configuration differences from the MR-3 spacecraft was the addition of a large viewing window and an explosively actuated side hatch. During the flight, the spacecraft attained a maximum velocity of 8,270 km/hour and an altitude of 189 kilometers. The capsule landed 483 kilometers down range from Cape Canaveral. The duration of flight was 15 minutes and 37 seconds' ( 'Flight successful but the spacecraft was lost during the post landing recovery period as a result of premature actuation of the explosively actuated side egress hatch. The capsule sank in 15,000 feet of water shortly after splashdown. The astronaut egressed from the spacecraft immediately after hatch actuation and was retrieved after being in the water for about 3 to 4 minutes' ( As a result, no photographs of the flight survived.
Estimate $400-600

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


John Glenn, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Gus Grissom, Mercury-Atlas 5, Mercury-Redstone 3, Mercury-Redstone 4, Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, NASA, Outer space, Project Mercury, Spacecraft, Spaceflight, Splashdown