MEDALLION CARRIED ON GEMINI 8 BY ARMSTRONG.
Circular medallion, gold-plated sterling silver, 1 inch across. Carried on the Gemini 8 flight by Commander Neil Armstrong. Features the crew mission emblem on obverse, the reverse engraved with the flight date of 16 March 1966 and the words "First to dock in space."
Accompanied by a Typed Letter Signed by Gordon Cooper, which reads in part: "The medallion displayed below was flown onboard the Gemini 8 spacecraft on March 16, 1966 by mission commander Neil Armstrong ...
At six hours and 34 minutes into their flight, Neil made space history as he performed the first docking of two vehicles while in orbit. This was one of the most important events in the Gemini Program which later helped Neil Armstrong to become the first man to walk on the moon." Cooper describes the "near disaster" that followed the docking, caused by an attitude control rocket that would not shut down. He closes, "Neil was back-up commander for my Gemini 5 flight and presented me with this medallion as a sign of our close friendship."