CONRAD'S MISSION EMBLEM CARRIED ON GEMINI 5.
8 DAYS OR BUSTTHE U.S. NOW LEADS IN SPACE EXPLORATION.
Flown Gemini 5 cloth crew emblem, 4 inches in diameter. Mounted on a 6½ x 8½ inch Typed Letter Signed by CHARLES CONRAD.
CHARLES CONRAD'S signed provenance letter reads: "This Gemini 5 cloth patch was one of the few originals made in 1965. It was the first American crew designed manned space flight patch. I was mission pilot with fellow astronaut Gordon Cooper as commander. We were also the first crew to have a mission designed patch worn on our space suits. This patch flew on the Gemini 5 mission during August 21 to 29, 1965. It is from my personal collection.
The idea for the cover wagon came from a wooden model that a Cooper family member had whittled. We felt it was the best way to symbolize the pioneering spirit of this early Gemini flight. The eight days or bust wording was a natural addition. However, NASA Administrator James Webb wanted the wording removed because any flight time short of eight days might have been viewed as a mission failure. We were directed to cover that wording with a layer of cloth. Our mission completed all eight days and Gemini 5 marked the beginning of the American's lead in manned space exploration."