STAFFORD'S MCDONNELL PRESS REFERENCE.
ABOUT HIS TRAINING EXPERIENCES, THE 24 G ESCAPE.
"Gemini Press Reference Book, Gemini Spacecraft Number Six." St. Louis: October 11, 1965. 129 pp. 11 x 8 1/2 inches. Unbound loose leaf with 21 tabbed section dividers.
With THOMAS P. STAFFORD'S signed provenance letter, dated December 15, 1999 reading in part: "Enclosed is a McDonnell Aircraft Corporation issued press reference manual about my Gemini 6 spacecraft. It is superbly illustrated and describes the technical nature of the Gemini Program in a clearly understandable manner.... Reviewing this manual reminds me of the intense training we in the Astronaut Corps undertook during this period in the 1960s. Wally Schirra and I trained for the first planned rendezvous mission with an Agena target vehicle. Our Agena was launched on an Atlas rocket during the morning of October 25, 1965, but failed to reach orbit. NASA management then approved a different flight, Wally and I would rendezvous with Gemini 7 to be launched in early December 1965. Our training schedule was modified to accomplish the planned tasks for this new mission.
An interesting section of this manual covers the Gemini ejection system. The Gemini spacecraft used ejection seats to provide the only means of emergency escape during launch or after earth re-entry. The seats were rocket propelled, with a thrust of nearly 24 times earth gravity (G's). Many of us in the Astronaut Corps had serious concerns about using this system with such a powerful 'kick in the pants.' I am glad Wally did not light that system when our Gemini Titan launch vehicle shut down on the pad on December 12, 1965. We probably would have survived the ejection but I doubt we would be a physical condition to ever flight in space again."
SIGNED and INSCRIBED with their individual flight titles by WALLY SCHIRRA and TOM STAFFORD on the title page.