Lot 9062: Astronaut Scott Carpenter's used survival pack from his early Project Mercury desert survival training. Consists of the main tan canvas pack with two compartments, one with a zippered closure and the other secured by metal snap fasteners. Contents of the pack include a USN Mark 3 Bauer signal mirror, rectangular tin can, silver foil thermal blanket, whistle, twine, lightweight orange and white nylon fabrics for headgear or apparel, and a couple other items. Also includes a matching nylon parachute canopy. In overall very good condition, with cracks and wear to the signal mirror. Accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Carpenter, in part: "The contents of my accompanying pack are materials I utilized during my Project Mercury training at the USAF Survival School at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada in July 1960. The purpose of this training was to ensure that we'd all be well prepared for any eventuality during an unexpected landing. I have kept this gear as a reminder of not only our training but of the sacrifices made by so many that contributed to the success of Project Mercury."
The parachute was used for multiple things during training, most notably as makeshift outerwear—a photograph of the Mercury astronauts together during their desert training shows them all wearing pieces of the cut up parachute. In the same image, Carpenter is wearing the silver foil as eyewear and an identical example of the signal mirror can be seen on one of their waists. With direct provenance from Carpenter and photographic evidence that this material was clearly used by the Mercury team during their survival exercises. This one-of-a-kind piece has never before been offered and is an excellent representation of the rigorous training regimen conducted by America's first astronauts.
RR Auction's Space and Aviation Auction 463
Thursday, 22nd October 2015
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