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[i]In October 1961, Gus Grissom glumly confided to his mother in a letter that is now up for auction that he and his fellow Mercury 7 astronauts resented John Glenn after he was picked to be the first American to orbit the Earth.
Within the famously competitive group, Glenn had emerged as the face of the space program, while Grissom was reticent in front of the press. When he wrote to his mother, Grissom was still stinging from his Liberty Bell 7 flight on July 21, 1961, that ended with a blown hatch, a sunken space capsule and accusations that the former Air Force fighter pilot had panicked.
"The flight crew for the orbital mission has been picked and I'm not on it," he writes in slanting script, each line of blue ink climbing slightly from left to right on the Project Mercury letterhead. "Of course I've been feeling pretty low for the past few days. All of us are mad because Glenn was picked. But we expressed our views prior to the selection so there isn't much we can do about it but support the flight and the program."
The letter is being auctioned online by RR Auction of Amherst, N.H., which got it from Grissom's brother, Lowell.[/i]
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