The Stamps and Patches of Mercury 4
Flight MR4 – Liberty Bell 7
21 July 1961
15 min 37s
This flight was planned as a repeat performance of Shepard’s which in fact it was – until just after splashdown, when the hatch of the Mercury craft blew open and seawater rushed in. As the capsule sank, Grissom was hauled to safety by a helicopter. He had nearly drowned.
The astronaut, who admitted that he was a ‘little scared’ at lift-off – his pulse peaked at 171 – enjoyed the view out of his window; so much so that he was distracted from his work during the brief period of weightless flight.
Liberty Bell 7 need not have sunk, despite shipping 2000 lb. of water. A warning light in the helicopter cockpit was false and the misinformed pilot ditched the spacecraft. Ironically, Liberty Bell was the lightest manned spacecraft, weighing 2836 lb in space.
Mercury 4 Stamps
Only five countries issued stamps to celebrate the flight of Mercury 4 with the first being five years after the flight. All of the countries celebrated Grissom’s flight on the anniversary of the flight or as a space achievements. Below is a list of the following countries that have issued stamps for Mercury 4. Also below are some of the stamps that were issued.
Qatar 1966 (SG 138)
Ras al Khaima 1966 (SG 46)
Kathiri State of Seiyun 1967 (SG 118)
Sierra Leone 1988 (SG 1166)
Uganda 1994 (SG 1360)
Mercury 3 Mission Patches
Gus Grissom chose the name Liberty Bell because the capsule was shaped like a bell and because it carried stirring American connotations so important during the early days of the American space program. Like Al Shepard’s Freedom 7, not much creativity went into the logo for Liberty Bell 7. Chrysler-employee Cecelia Bibby did the artwork.
Below are Mercury 4 Mission Patches.
For more information on patches see www.spacepatches.info