First Edition of The Astronauts; Signed by All of the Mercury Seven and twice by Gus Grissom
The Astronauts: The Story of Project Mercury, America’s Man-In-Space Program.
Caidin, Martin; Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.$13,000.00
Item Number: 95986
New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1960.
First edition of this introduction to Project Mercury. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with drawings by Fred L. Wolf and photographs. Signed by all seven of NASA’s original Project Mercury astronauts on the front free endpaper, using their full signatures. Signed by John H. Glenn, Jr., Walter M Schirra Jr, M. Scott Carpenter, Virgil I. Grissom, Donald K. Slayton, Leroy G. Cooper, and Alan B Shepard Jr. It is inscribed above: “To Pearl Salvick with best wishes from Mercury Astronauts.” Additionally signed by Virgil Grissom on the half-title page. Laid in is an original first day issue card from Cape Canaveral dated February 20, 1962. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Books with all of the Project Mercury’s signatures are rare, especially with full signatures.
"The first seven American astronauts were an admirable group of individuals chosen to sit at the apex of a pyramid of human effort… They chose to lead by following the opportunity that chance, circumstance, technology and history had prepared for them" (Swenson, Grimwood & Alexander). NASA introduced the seven astronauts in Washington on April 9, 1959. Although the agency viewed Project Mercury's purpose as an experiment to determine whether humans could survive space travel, the seven men immediately became national heroes and were compared by TIME magazine to "Columbus, Magellan, Daniel Boone, and the Wright brothers" (TIME 1959).