Dime carried on sunken spacecraft the Liberty Bell 7 to sell at Heritage

As we've reported, Heritage is holding a Space Memorabilia sale next month, (though a little later than first thought) and with the consignment deadline coming up next week, we thought we'd take another look at how the lots are building up.

The collectibles to be sold in the sale are yet to be fully processed, but of the eight which have been made available for viewing (though with few details) there are some first day covers from the Apollo missions, and an autographed letter confirming the 'flown' status of an item.

More on those when we have the information to do them justice.

One fairly straightforward item in the sale, however, is a dime recovered from the Liberty Bell 7.

Liberty Bell coin
Liberty Bell coin with patch

The Liberty Bell 7 was the spacecraft used in the Mercury-Redstone 4 mission, a suborbital flight piloted by astronaut Virgil I 'Gus' Grissom in 1961, which reached an altitude of over 118.26 miles and flew for 300 miles.

Although successful enough during the flight itself, the mission hit a dangerous glitch when the hatch door blew off shortly after landing in the sea. Grissom got out cleanly enough but the spacecraft sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

The spacecraft was dredged from its position around 38 years later as part of the recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings in a mission headed by Curt Newson.

Liberty Bell coin

Some dimes had been on board the craft and these have entered the collection markets, and one of them is now for sale at Heritage, accompanied by a confirmatory note from Newson to the effect that the dime had been on board.

Although it was never in space, the dime accompanied an astronaut (sadly later killed in the Apollo 1 fire, contributed to by another hatch flaw) on an exciting stage of man's exploration of space.

For any collectors who just can't wait until the sale on November 6, there are a number of fine space memorabilia items available right now.


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