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[i]A Connecticut schoolgirl is fighting the federal government over an artifact of space exploration history.
Amanda Meyer, 15, of Madison, Conn., has launched a petition drive to have the Mercury spacesuit worn by Gus Grissom returned to his family. Meyer says the family told her they want the suit to tour the country to help keep the late astronaut's memory alive.
Despite almost 500 signatures on an Internet petition, the silver suit likely will remain in the Astronaut Hall of Fame near Kennedy Space Center, where it is the focus of an exhibit on the Mercury program.
"They have not offered any explanation," said Meyer, who said she plans to become an astronaut. "One NASA representative did e-mail me. They want to keep it."
The suit's staying put, said Peter Golkin, a spokesman for the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, which claims the suit.
"You've got to give young Amanda credit for being interested," Golkin said. "Gus Grissom's certainly a great role model for someone who wants to be an astronaut. But I don't think she got her facts straight."[/i]
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