Lot 9119: Gemini 6 Flown Survival Knife

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-10-06 13:09:54

Lot 9119: Fantastic flown bright red-orange survival switchblade pocket knife carried on the Gemini 6A mission, measuring 4.25? long when closed and 7.25? long with the blade extended, manufactured by Camilus of New York. The metal body is engraved with NASA part numbers: "P/N EC30045, S/N 004." The spring-loaded blade can be fully extended by pressing a brass button on the side, which has a safety latch below. The knife also features a metal hook that can be manually extended from the body, as well as a metal loop at the top. Includes the original NASA-MSC System and Component Historical Record document, one page both sides, 10.5 x 8, dated throughout 1965. The document lists the knife as "Combination Knife" and filled out in type with matching part and serial numbers, noting a shipping date of March 2, 1965, and "Effectivity: GT 6 and up." Movements of the knife are tracked in the register below, with an entry of October 22, 1965 at Kennedy Space Center reading: "Assigned to S/C 6 per MPS C-370 on R/H Pilot." Two days later, an installation stamp reads: "Installed in S/C 6, Section Cabin, System GFAE, Per H 452-6." This property tracking continues on the reverse, noting that it was removed from the spacecraft on October 26, reassigned to "Pilot GT-6" on December 11, and "Installed in S/C 6" on December 12. The flight status of the knife is then recorded below: "S/C 6 Flight, GT-6, Performed. Flight Duration 25 hr. 52 min." Subsequent entries indicate that it was removed from the spacecraft and downgraded to training status. In overall fine condition. This piece is especially interesting as the property record describes the unusual history of the Gemini 6 mission. The knife was initially put in the spacecraft on October 24 in preparation for the Gemini 6 flight, which was originally scheduled for October 25. The goal of the mission was for the Gemini 6 capsule to perform a manned rendezvous and docking with the unmanned Agena Target Vehicle. Fifteen minutes after Stafford and Schirra boarded the Gemini spacecraft, the Agena was launched but experienced catastrophic failure and exploded six minutes into the flight. Since the goal of the mission was to dock with the Agena, the Gemini launch was canceled. The document indicates that this knife was then removed from the Gemini spacecraft on the next day, October 26. The mission was then rescheduled for December 15, 1965, and the log appropriately records the knife being re-installed in the spacecraft on that day. Flown Gemini artifacts are less common than those from other programs, and the excellent provenance and history of this piece make it especially desirable. The Leon Ford Collection. RR Auction's Space and Aviation Auction 463 Thursday, 22nd October 2015 Estimate: $6000-8000
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