LETTER FLOWN ON GEMINI 10?
Microfilm letter possibly flown into orbit on an Agena Target Vehicle and retrieved by Michael Collins during Gemini 10, together with related correspondence. The microfilm 11 x 8 mm, the related documentation mostly 11 x 8½ inches.
A curious Gemini artifact: a possibly flown microfilm copy of a letter dated March 9, 1966, from MSC Director Robert Gilruth and Gemini Program Manager Charles W. Mathews to George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA's Washington, DC, facility. The letter reads, in part: "Dear George: This letter comes to you after being transported into space on an Atlas-launched Agena Target Vehicle, and being recovered by Astronaut David Scott, during his extravehicular operation from the Gemini VIII spacecract." Paperclipped to that letter is a typed memo from Gilruth dated July 25, 1966, reading: "George: Circumstances precluded Dave Scott from recovering microfilm copies of this letter, however, during the Gemini X mission, Mike Collins retrieved the [in manuscript: attached] mocrofilm [sic] from the Gemini VIII Agena after it had been in orbit for 4 months." This memo is annotated "Proposed by KSK" (Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Deputy Manager of the Gemini Project Office). Finally, an autograph note from Kleinknecht to Mathews dated August 5 reads "Chuck, This sample can be printed any place on page. Suggest you get with Gilruth & then inform Bill Forester in Brinkmans office what we want."
Whether the present microfilm letter is indeed the very flown one, or rather is merely an identical sample, is unclear.
Provenance: Charles W. Mathews; thence by descent.