18 July 2019
FLOWN ON GEMINI 5 – Cloth mission emblem, 1965.
"8 Days or Bust": flown on Gemini 5, the first emblem designed for an American-crewed space flight; displayed with color photograph.
The emblem’s central feature is a white and brown covered wagon surrounded by the words GEMINI 5, COOPER, and CONRAD in red. The wagon’s cover has the crew’s motto in red which reads: “8 Days or Bust.” The emblem is displayed on a SIGNED provenance letter from Charles CONRAD, reading:
"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 America's lead in manned space exploration."
Cloth emblem, 4 inches in diameter. [With:] Color photograph signed, 7.5 by 6 inches, Conrad in the recovery helicopter. Archivally matted to 11.5 by 18.5 inches.
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