COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — In-flight instructions used by astronaut John Glenn during his historic 1962 Mercury spaceflight have been sold at auction.
Nate D. Sanders Auctions said the instructions used by Glenn as he became the first American to orbit Earth sold Thursday in Los Angeles for $66,993. There were eight bids, beginning at $25,000. An auction house spokesman said it doesn’t disclose the identities of winning bidders.
The instructions included a flight plan for Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft detailing the celestial bodies and geographical landmarks to use as guides during his nearly five-hour flight on Feb. 20, 1962. They also told Glenn at what points to take photos, change the film and color filter, put on his helmet and exercise. The document is scrolled around a bobbin that Glenn could maneuver with his thumb.
Glenn, now 95 and living in Columbus with his wife, Annie, had given the instructions to a frogman who helped recover NASA capsules from the ocean, as a thank-you for his work on the Mercury 6 project.
The frogman, Richard “Dick” Dunham, passed them on to a Navy veteran, Justin C. Pollard. They were displayed for three years at the San Diego Air and Space Museum before going up for auction.