signed first edition
1960 · New York
by Caidin, Martin; Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton
New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1960. First edition of this introduction to Project Mercury. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with drawings by Fred L. Wolf and photographs. Signed by all seven of NASA's original Project Mercury astronauts on the front free endpaper, using their full signatures. Signed by Walter M Schirra Jr, Donald K. Slayton, Alan B Shepard Jr, Virgil I. Grissom, John H. Glenn, Jr., M. Scott Carpenter and Leroy G. Cooper Jr. It is inscribed above by Alan Shepard: "To Lewis S. Baer with warm regards The Astronauts." Light rubbing, near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Books with all of the Project Mercury's signatures are rare, especially with full signatures. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. "The first seven American astronauts were an admirable group of individuals chosen to sit at the apex of a pyramid of human effort... They chose to lead by following the opportunity that chance, circumstance, technology and history had prepared for them" (Swenson, Grimwood & Alexander). NASA introduced the seven astronauts in Washington on April 9, 1959. Although the agency viewed Project Mercury's purpose as an experiment to determine whether humans could survive space travel, the seven men immediately became national heroes and were compared by TIME magazine to "Columbus, Magellan, Daniel Boone, and the Wright brothers" (TIME 1959).
(Inventory #: 18045)