We Seven. By the Astronauts Themselves.

FIRST EDITION OF WE SEVEN, SIGNED BY John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, Bill Dana aka Jose Jimenez

We Seven. By the Astronauts Themselves.

CARPENTER, M. Scott; Gordon L. Cooper; John H. Glenn; Virgil I. Grissom; Walter M. Schirra; Alan Shepard; Donald K. Slayton .


Item Number: 102763

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962.

First edition of this first-hand account of the genesis of America’s manned space program. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated. Signed on the half-title page by John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and comedian Bill Dana aka Jose Jimenez. Jiménez was a fictional character created and performed by comedian Bill Dana on The Steve Allen Show in 1959 and who became increasingly popular during the 1960s, and is cited in this volume on several occasions. This character introduced himself with the catch phrase: “My name… José Jiménez”. The character of José Jiménez caught on with the seven real Mercury astronauts, and Dana became good friends with them: “Okay, José, you’re on your way!” Deke Slayton quipped as Alan Shepard’s famous first flight launched. José became the program’s unofficial mascot, and Dana was even made an honorary Mercury astronaut. (Coincidentally, there was a real test pilot named Bill Dana, who flew as high as 59 miles up and qualified for NASA’s Astronaut Badge. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Paul Bacon. A unique signed example.

“The first seven American astronauts were an admirable group of individuals chosen to sit at the apex of a pyramid of human effort… In volunteering to entrust their lives to Mercury’s spirit and Atlas’ strength to blaze a trail for man into the empyrean, they chose to lead by following the opportunity that chance, circumstance, technology and history had prepared for them” (Swenson, Grimwood & Alexander, 164-65). We Seven chronicles the beginnings of American manned space exploration from the perspectives of those who pioneered it, with each member of Project Mercury contributing at least three essay-length sections.

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