Article No.: M0051
Mercury MA-8 "Sigma 7" flown heatshield fragment
Mercury Atlas 8, called "Sigma 7" was the third manned ORBITAL flight of Project Mercury. The spacecraft was piloted by astronaut Walter M. "Wally" Schirra. Mission goals were performance-tests of the spacecraft systems in an orbital mission and to evaluate the effects of an extended orbital space flight on the astronaut. The launch was the first to watch live on TV in Western Europe. During the flight, the spacecraft attained a velocity higher than previous flights (28,092 km/h) and an altitude of about 281 km. After 9 hours of flight and 6 orbits, the capsule reentered earth atmosphere and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Triangle fragment of heatshield material mounted on a 7x9'' rigid foam board certified on the backside.
The source of this heatshield fragment was a larger block of heatshield given to VIP's and NASA workers as recognition for their work in the space program which was also signed by Wally Schirra.
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