THE ORIGINAL SEVEN ASTRONAUTS.
"Project Mercury: Research Providing Valuable Data for Manned Space Flight." NASA Langley Research Center, Langley Field, VA, April 1959. 4 pp. 10½ by 8 inches. The cover with portraits of all seven astronauts, with a diagram and description of the Mercury capsule, the interior pages with several photographs describing Langley's role in the development and tests of this space vehicle, together with a Typed Letter Signed by Gordon Cooper.
Brochure signed by the first seven US astronauts in the late 1950s. Signed vertically to the right of their respective portraits by Malcolm S. Carpenter, Leroy G. Cooper, Jr., John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and D. K. Slayton, in the forms they used in the late 1950s.
Cooper's letter reads in part: "This brochure is from my personal collection and features the early signatures of my fellow Mercury Astronauts. We signed using our proper names with initials back in 1959. The length of our signatures changed over the years due to the large number of autograph requests NASA received during our tenure as astronauts. John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and I were happy to sign items over the years. Gus Grissom was a real hard worker and was not as inclined to spend much time with such as task. Deke Slayton had the bad luck being pulled from flight status but managed to honor requests despite the heavy management role he assumed. Wally Schirra, or 'Jolly Wally' often let the requests pile up, but would eventually get most of them completed. Alan Shepard was all business and would run hot or cold to the effort, but mostly kept things on the cool side. As the complexity and the time demands of the Gemini and Apollo projects grew, we often had no choice but to employ use of machine produced signatures, often referred to as 'autopens.' The volume of requests was so large that we could easily have done nothing but sign our names all day long and never had time to complete training to accomplish the national goal of landing a man on the moon."