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  321865558233: Mercury rocket fragment lucite

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Author Topic:   321865558233: Mercury rocket fragment lucite
Skythings
Member

Posts: 118
From:
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-15-2015 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skythings   Click Here to Email Skythings     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a couple issues with this lucite item on eBay.
  1. GLV is a Gemini flight not a Mercury Rocket Fragment as indicated in the title on the listing.

  2. Which is the most serious issue is the crew which flew on the Gemini 11 flight where Charles Conrad and Richard Gordon. Cooper did not fly on Gemini 11 as per the engraving on the piece.

  3. The date is one day after the launch. Was the first stage booster recovered on the following day of the launch?
The seller has a zero feedback rating. Is this a case of a seller simply not knowing, or is this a fake? The engraving with the crew names is obviously wrong. The lucite also looks like a home made item.

Any other thoughts on this item?

Skythings
Member

Posts: 118
From:
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-16-2015 02:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skythings   Click Here to Email Skythings     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I contacted the seller earlier and he updated the auction to show it as a Gemini item.

rgarner
Member

Posts: 660
From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 09-16-2015 03:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just can't get past the Gordon & Cooper part — &?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33617
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2015 04:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is not the first time we've seen this type of acrylic display.

Another was offered on eBay in 2013 (the shape of the fragments are different, so they are distinct pieces from the same production).

Skythings
Member

Posts: 118
From:
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-16-2015 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skythings   Click Here to Email Skythings     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have already reported the item on eBay. eBay has not acted yet to remove the auction which is disappointing.

It would nice to see other collectSPACE members also reporting these items each time we come across them. Perhaps with several people reporting those fraudulent items we speak about here in these forums, we as a community can send eBay and these sellers a message.

To report it, simply open the auction and on the right hand side of the page about half way down, is a link "Report item". Select "Copyright & trademark" in the first box. Then select "Counterfeit item or authenticity disclaimer" One the 3rd box select "Counterfeit, fake or replica item" Then hit continue. The next page allows you to make a comment and then send eBay the report. It may help a novice Collector from getting stung.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33617
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2015 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On what basis are you claiming this is counterfeit? (An incorrect inscription doesn't necessarily mean the artifact is not real.)

Skythings
Member

Posts: 118
From:
Registered: Jun 2014

posted 09-16-2015 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skythings   Click Here to Email Skythings     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with you Robert on this point. I was very curious about this possibility and spent a considerable amount of time researching this yesterday. Perhaps the artifact is legitimate and only the engraving is wrong. I wanted to find out. This would make this piece even more interesting if that was indeed the case.

My suspicions are this is a fake based on all the indicators I have thus far. Nowhere have I been able to locate any information on a recovered Gemini 11 Titan booster. The only information on a recovered Gemini Titan booster was from Gemini 5 some 13 months earlier. This was the upper half of the booster hollow tank which broke off and remained floating which I understand is on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. So it is possible.

If you apply logic, the Titan first stage boosters free fell for tens of thousands of feet into the ocean without a parachute making it highly unlikely to have remained on the surface and being recovered. Very few boosters from any of the NASA missions were ever been recovered is what I discovered. Those that have been were found recently were recent discoveries using current underwater sonar technology. I have found six sources thus far on the net stating the Gemini 5 was the only recovered Titan First Stage Booster ever recovered. Perhaps they are all wrong.

Obviously we all know because it's on the net, it must be true. So now I am challenged to find out for certain. I have sent an email to Dr. David Williams with NASA, who is the contact person specializing on Gemini 11 according to the NASA Gemini 11 site. He should be able to give me direct and factual information on this matter. I will update once I hear back from him. If I am wrong, I will gladly apologize for my comments and suspicions.

thisismills
Member

Posts: 20
From: South Carolina
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 09-16-2015 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thisismills   Click Here to Email thisismills     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've seen evidence that other Gemini launch vehicles were recovered. There are presentation items that originate from the US Air Force with sections of the GT-10 booster, affixed to an informational card, addressed to the recipient at the Eastern Test Range.

One of these GT-10 fragments will be in the upcomming RR Auction, as seen on page 57 of the virtual catalogue (listed as 59/204 on issuu).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 33617
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2015 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are two more different examples of the GT-11 Titan fragment acrylic displays like the type offered on eBay and being discussed here.

These two, from 2011, came with a letter from the Trustee of the Estate of Marion Linn Letsch, wife of NASA aerospace engineer Ernst Letsch.

Chuckster01
Member

Posts: 157
From: Orlando, FL, USA
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 12-09-2015 05:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This Lucite award is from the estate Chief Master Sargent James R "Mac" McGowan. Sgt McGowan was a member of the 6555th Aerospace Test Wing and I have hundreds of documents showing his involvement in the entire Gemini program from GLV-1 threw GLV-12. With that background I am trying to figure out how the Airforce awarded him this fragment from GLV-11 with an obvious mistake. The mission date would be correct but the crew is not correct. Conrad and Gordon flew GLV-11 and not Gordon and Cooper.

Has anyone seen this before and does anyone know the story behind the only official Lucite display I have ever seen with a clear mistake in the labeling.

I offer the attached pictures as provenance of his involvement in the Gemini Program from the beginning and to assure some of you this was not fabricated.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Chuckster01
Member

Posts: 157
From: Orlando, FL, USA
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 12-15-2015 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chuckster01   Click Here to Email Chuckster01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So no one has anything to add to this post? No new lucites like these found or general information to add?

Jeff
Member

Posts: 332
From: Fayetteville, NC, USA
Registered: May 2009

posted 12-15-2015 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff   Click Here to Email Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nothing to do with this particular Lucite, but to add to the topic of the only official NASA Lucite with a mistake in labeling. If you look at this link, you’ll see an Apollo 7 Lucite clearly labeled with the incorrect mission dates, 14th through 24th of Oct 68 which is incorrect. The dates should be 11th through 22nd of Oct 68.

All times are CT (US)

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