Mercury Capsule US Patent papers
Lot 2
PATENT FOR THE MERCURY SPACECRAFT.
Sold for US$ 3,355 inc. premium

Auction 17402: The Space Sale
16 Jul 2009 13:00 EDT

New York
Lot Details
PATENT FOR THE MERCURY SPACECRAFT.
PATENT FOR THE MERCURY SPACECRAFT.
"Space Capsule," patent for the Mercury spacecraft, September 6, 1966. 5 pp. Accompanied by a Typed Letter Signed by Howard J. Osborn, Patent Counsel, October 18, 1962, 1 p, and a Typed Letter Signed by Marvin F. Matthews, Patent Counsel, July 21, 1967, 1 p, on US Government Memorandum letterhead, both to Maxime Faget. All 11 by 8 inches.

Maxime Faget was the lead member and co-inventor of what became the Mercury spacecraft. The patent, no 3,270,908, is a division of patent no 3,093,346, the application for which was made on October 16, 1959. Three pages of diagrams illustrate the capsule from various angles, with over 60 labeled parts.
The patent describes the spacecraft in detail and states: "The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for government purposes without payment of any royalties thereon or therefor ... This invention relates generally to space vehicles, and more particularly to a manned capsule configuration capable of being launched into orbital flight and returned to the earth's surface ... It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel space satellite capable of achieving orbital flight."
The letter from Matthews reads: "Our records fail to indicate that you have received a copy of the U.S. Patent issued on your invention. Accordingly, we have enclosed a copy of said patent for your personal file."
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